There is a lot of animosity for the “Joneses.”
You know who I’m talking about – that family that everyone is trying to “keep up with.”
They’re always buying nice things and look like they are doing so well in life. It can sometimes make you feel like you aren’t making much progress in your own wealth building.
Heck, sometimes you might feel pressured to overextend yourself on a new purchase just so it doesn’t look like you are falling too far behind them.
But, inevitably, this hurts you more than it helps.
The credit card bill keeps increasing.
Your emergency fund isn’t growing (and is most likely being depleted).
And you’re having a hard time making the payments on all of the new things you’ve purchased (Home, Car, Boat, Furniture, etc).
So, how can you stop this vicious cycle? Do you have to move away from these people? Is that the only way?
RECOGNIZING FALSE WEALTH
Don’t feel bad, you aren’t alone.
Our society places a heavy burden on us by constantly comparing everyone. This starts from a young age and it never stops.
I actually believe that this can be a good thing. It forces people to see what they are doing in relation to overall society and gives you a barometer of where you stand, as it relates to “success.” But then we get into a tricky conversation of defining “success.”
And even worse, how do you recognize real success from fake success?
The truth is, the vast majority of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
In recent studies, it has been found that 6 out of 10 Americans don’t have $500 in savings.
That means if you simply have $501 in the bank, you are in the top 40% of the population!
So, those Joneses who are always buying new things, they might be doing really well and able to afford all of those gadgets and gizmos, but most likely, they are overextending themselves just like you are.
LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS IS WAY COOLER
Money is a stressful topic for most people. But that’s only because most people aren’t in a good financial situation.
If you had a bunch of money in the bank and didn’t have to worry about any of your daily expenses, talking about money wouldn’t be stressful for you.
It’s when people get caught up in the material side of living that they overextend themselves, depleting their savings trying to match someone else’s lifestyle, and then are stressed out about the basics – paying rent, making car payments, etc.
If you made a concerted effort to save a good chunk of your money and build wealth you wouldn’t have those same stresses that most Americans have when it comes to money.
So, getting back to those Joneses…
FIGHTING THE URGE TO COMPETE
Anyone who knows me knows how competitive I am. So, it might sound hypocritical to hear me say something like “you need to fight the urge to compete.”
But I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive for more, I’m saying that you need to recognize the right way to go about competing.
If you want to compete in the wealth-building game, please recognize that buying fancy stuff does not help you build wealth. And doing it with a credit card or some other form of debt is moving you in the opposite direction!
If you want to stoke your competitive flames to help you build wealth, that’s awesome, just make sure you are going about it the right way.
And trying to keep up with the “Joneses” is never the right way…