Most of us have heard the phrase keeping up with the Joneses. “The Joneses” represent the social benchmark for social class – the neighbours who have all the material goods we want!
While it’s natural to compare yourself to your neighbours, maintaining a social status by spending money on a lifestyle beyond our means is a losing battle. Instead of gaining security, confidence and happiness, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Here’s why you should stop trying to keep up with the Joneses:
Reason #1: The Joneses are broke
Your neighbours can’t stop raving about the amazing overseas trip they took with their family, their kids are in elite private schools and they’re all dressed to impress. They seem to have no financial care in the world. How can they afford their lifestyle?
We assume that they’re rolling in money; however, they most likely don’t own anything. It’s very easy to look like you have more than you do, mainly because it’s easy to spend money you don’t have (thanks to credit). Unfortunately, once debt takes over your life, it is difficult to get out of.
Reason #2: You will fall into debt
We live in a society that promotes instant gratification through advertising and media. We are expected to buy the best of everything and live beyond our means. People who seem to be living the most lavish lifestyles are probably swimming in debt due to trying to keep up with a lifestyle they can’t afford.
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Reason #3: Buying new stuff will not make you happy
We are drawn to consumerism, which makes us feel as though we need to buy expensive brands and the latest gadgets to be happy. You don’t get happier by buying new stuff – in fact, you probably end up unhappy after spending too much money, especially if you get yourself into debt.
Reason #4: You need to focus on your own life
It’s easy to think that another family is picture perfect; however, we don’t actually know what goes on behind close doors. Everybody has financial challenges. Constantly comparing ourselves to others brings discontent.
Instead of focusing on living an extravagant lifestyle, set your own financial goals, keeping in mind every family has different financial priorities. If you are struggling to pay off debt, join 16,000+ South Africans who are becoming debt free with Debt Rescue.