When it comes to money, sometimes people make some huge mistakes that can follow them throughout life. One of them is trying to keep up with the Joneses. If you spend your life measuring your financial success against that of others around you and try to follow their spending behavior, you’ll soon find that instead of building wealth, you’re creating debt. Here are some tips to help you stop, so you can finally start saving for what really matters most.
What Keeping Up With The Joneses Means
The American expression “keeping up with the Joneses,” dates back to a 1913 comic strip by cartoonist Arthur R. “Pop” Momand, where it was used to refer to a family who though never seen in the cartoon, continually exerted their influence over the other characters. These days it’s used to refer to people whose life is focused on outward appearances, usually to portray social status or wealth.
It could be your next door neighbor who drives a luxury car, the family down the street who go on European vacations several times each year, or the woman in the office who spends $300 a month at the salon on her hair and nails. Sometimes is can be difficult not to feel the influence of your peers, especially when they appear to be living wealthy, easy-going lifestyles. But trying to keep up with the Joneses can damage your financial status, sometimes permanently.
Ways To Stop Keeping Up With The Joneses
It’s time to free yourself from your obsession with the Joneses and focus on your own life. Follow these tips to liberate yourself from competing with your peers.
Take a Reality Check on the Joneses
Take a long hard look at the Joneses and their lifestyle and you may begin to see a few cracks in their perfect appearance. Beneath the veneer of affluence, they may actually be up to their eyeballs in debt; they may not have a retirement plan and no financial security for the future. Do you really covet their lifestyle if they are tossing and turning at night over the thought that they could soon lose everything they have? Wouldn’t it be much nicer to have financial security and for you and your family to be living debt-free?
Keep a Check on Your Emotions
Examine your feelings. Do you feel jealousy, anger? Try to think about where those feeling are coming from. It could be that you had a hard life growing up and you feel you missed out on things that your friends enjoyed, or it could be that you feel you are underachieving. Instead of obsessing about your peers, try to focus on your own successes, however small and congratulate yourself on your achievements. This way you will begin to feel more positive emotions.
Take Pride in Yourself
Stop comparing yourself to your peers and take a look at the good aspects of your own financial life. Give yourself a pat on the back for having paid off your student loan. Give yourself an extra one if you have a savings account. Be proud if the fact that you are living an open and healthy lifestyle within your means rather than behind a flashy facade of phony wealth. Good for you for avoiding unnecessary spending.
When You’re Having a Financial Emergency
If you find yourself short on cash and you need money quickly, don’t turn to a payday loan for help, there is a better option. Consider a MoneyBoat loan. Like a payday loan, MoneyBoat offers a short-term loan, but instead of having to pay back your money within one or two paychecks, this option allows you to take longer to lay it back, so you are under less financial pressure. MoneyBoat lets you apply for the money you need quickly via an online process. If you are a new customer, you can borrow up to £800, while returning customer may borrow up to £1500. You make your repayments as a series of installments so you won’t run into more financial problems. Look here for advice on finding a direct lender.
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and their spending. Plan your budget carefully and live within your means so that you can stop spending money you haven’t earned. That way you will be under less financial pressure and you will be able to build your wealth.
Luke Lambert writes about money. Once a young man in a lot of debt, he is now a Dad who has mastered the art of money and is passing on his newly-learned financial wisdom to his kids.