Keeping up with the Joneses.
I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point. Back in grade three when your mate Ben had the latest Transformer and you demanded it for Christmas. Later in life, you might have felt the need to renovate, buy a better car or upgrade your wardrobe because that’s what your friends are doing.
The problem is? Keeping up with the Joneses can keep you broke.
Can you afford your lifestyle?
Going into debt to keep up with the Joneses is a really bad idea.
Are you spending money you don’t have to give the illusion of living a life you really can’t afford?
The dangerous thing about relying on credit and financing? You feel like you can afford it.
A new car might cost 70k outright, but when all you’re thinking about is the ‘affordable’ money repayment it’s easy to go through the motions and make the purchase.
Getting deep into debt because you want what she/he is having (be it the house, shoes, gadget, holiday, etc) is one of the biggest money mistakes you can make.
Sure, you’ll get a rush from the purchase and posting it all over social media #takeTHATjoneses!
But once the excitement wears off?
Well, the cold hard debt truth kicks in…and this is where your money freedom and lifestyle comes crashing back to earth.
Left unchecked, consumer debt has a high cost. Not just the dollar cost, but the emotional cost of stress and sleepless nights as the burden of ‘having it all ‘ debt takes its toll.
Is money anxiety really worth buying the stuff you’re pretending you can afford just to keep up with the Joneses? I definitely don’t think so!
It’s not just about what your friends or neighbours are doing either. We’re comparing ourselves to people we don’t even know.
Reality TV and celebrity social media massively perpetuate the cycle of YOLO consumerism – shows like Real Housewives and Keeping Up With The Kardashians or every ‘c grade’ influencer. It seems like lately, ‘keeping up’ is extending beyond ‘stuff’ to things like plastic surgery. Scary stuff.
How to stop keeping up with the Joneses
Have your own rock-solid money mission
Create your own rock-solid financial vision and know the steps you need to take to get there.
With your own mission in place, you’re far less likely to be financially sidetracked by what everyone else is doing.
Create big, exciting money goals but don’t forget to set smaller milestones too.
Check-in with yourself at least once a quarter on how you’re progressing against your big goals but track your smaller milestones every month.
Gratitude is another biggie.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah
Be grateful for what you have right now. If your family has a roof over their heads, food on the table, clean clothes, and the lights are on, you’ve got a lot to be grateful for my friend.
Keeping up with the Joneses leaves you with a sense of perpetual dissatisfaction – that’s not a great way to live.
I’m not saying not to aim for more than where you’re at now, but it’s so easy to get caught up coveting others, that you forget to count your blessings. It’s a cliche because it’s true.
Learn to live (and enjoy living!) within your means
Until you get comfortable living within your means, no matter how much you have, it’s never going to be enough.
Living within – or below – your means paves the path to financial security.
It also gives you an appreciation for what ‘enough’ is for you and a real understanding of needs vs wants.
When you know what you truly value, you channel your resources (money and energy) into those things.
Not buying into the latest trends doesn’t have you feeling deprived because you’ve prioritised what’s really important. There’s a lot of comfort in that.
..and what about those Joneses?
In spite of outward appearances, the Joneses could be hiding a money secret of their own – they’re broke!
They’re in debt up to their eyeballs or living pay-check to pay-check. Remember, a large income doesn’t necessarily equal wealth.
It might not be long until the whole house of (credit) cards comes crashing down. When it does, you can bet they won’t be posting We Can’t Afford Our Minimum Payment quotes on Instagram.
Really, who cares where the Joneses are ‘at’ or where they’re going?
Put your head down, make your own big money goals and stay focused on following your financial freedom plan for your own family.
Someone will always have more than you…and you will always have more than someone else.
Forget about competing with what everyone else is doing. Blaze your own trail to financial freedom!
If you want to experience the freedom that money can provide, check out the third video in my Money Made Simple workshop which is available for a few more days only.