Keeping Up with the Joneses

Do you ever find yourself comparing what you have to what others have? Do you ever measure your financial health or success against that of someone else? You are not the only one! Being envious of others is a completely normal feeling that all of us have probably experienced. While it’s natural for it to happen occasionally, constantly comparing yourself to others can truly hurt your finances.

“Keeping up with the Joneses” refers to the idea that people try to measure their own success based on that of others. You might think that this desire to keep up with others just started, but it’s actually been going on for decades! There was even a comic strip called “Keeping up with the Joneses” in the 1930’s about a couple who were always trying to achieve the social status of their neighbors, the Joneses.

The trend of comparing may have started before we were born, but it is worse now than it was for previous generations. Today, there are so many influences that lead us to compare ourselves to others. Think about all of the “reality” TV shows that people watch. They might be a guilty pleasure, but some viewers of shows like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” or “Real Housewives” end up comparing their own lives and success to the lives of these reality stars. The truth is, the majority of the world doesn’t have closets full of Louboutin shoes or $200,000 Ferraris. Why bother comparing yourself to someone whose net worth is hundreds of millions of dollars?

Personally, I don’t watch shows like the ones I just mentioned, but I do love social media, especially Instagram and Pinterest! I love to check out pictures of lavish vacations and gorgeous houses. Sometimes these pictures make me envious, but then I remember that what you see can be deceiving. Maybe someone went on a beautiful European vacation, but did they save up for it? Or are did they charge it and now be stuck with paying off that debt for years to come? Remember, you see pictures of all of the fun things people buy or do, not pictures of bills!

Maybe you need a change of perspective. As the saying goes, “money doesn’t buy happiness”, so keep that in mind! Instead of comparing yourself to other people, try being proud of what you have already achieved! I’m positive there is a person who would give anything to be in the financial situation you are in right now. Be happy that you don’t give in to peer pressure.  Enjoy your good financial health!

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