The original post can be found here: Debt Free
You know them. They’re the family driving the shiny new cars, wearing the fancy new clothes, going on lavish vacations and sending their 2.3 children to private school. They have no financial worries, no need to budget, no money fights, and no concerns about retirement.
Hey everybody…It’s the Joneses! Everything in their world is easy. They have it all! Or do they?
“It’s not fair…” you may say. “Some people just seem to have it so easy. How do they live so well while I struggle just to pay the bills?”
It’s a good question. How can these young couples in their 20’s and 30’s buy the big house, drive new cars and go out to nice dinners every night? When Katy and I were newlyweds, we lived in a 600 sq. ft. apartment, drove 15 year old cars and regularly had to say no to going to dinner with friends.
Journalist and Author Shira Boss observes, “How we fit in and how we measure up are such an integral part of our financial well-being. We construct a fantasy world around those who have more money, and glorify their lives.”
Everyone in our culture seems obsessed with Keeping Up With The Joneses. But here’s the big secret….the Joneses…are broke
When you begin to ask the “Joneses” in your world, it turns out that they don’t own anything. Their big fancy house has a big hairy mortgage. Their cars, boats and stereo systems are all financed. And their big income is completely spent on payments before their paycheck even hits the mail. They have walked right into the trap of looking good but living broke! With credit cards, home equity loans, and “easy monthly payments,” it’s easy to look like you have more than you really do. But it’s a house of cards, and it won’t stand. Just ask the 2 million people that filed bankruptcy in 2010.
Vacations aren’t nearly as relaxing when you are still paying for them 3 years later. And the shiny new car isn’t as fun to drive when you are scrambling to come up with the $500 payment. The big house is no longer a blessing when the foreclosure notices start to come. This shiny, happy existence looks great from the outside. However, inside you will often find heartache, stress, money fights and fear that the bills may not get paid. This is no way to live….and all of a sudden, keeping up with the Joneses isn’t quite so appealing.
In his book “The Millionaire Next Door,” Thomas Stanley points out that the majority of actual wealthy people got that way by living on less than they make, staying out of debt, and saving their money. But no one looks at the person driving a used car and living in a modest home and thinks, “Wow, they must really be saving and building toward a great future…I bet they’ll be able to pay for their kids’ college…they will sure be able to retire comfortably.” Everybody envies the look of wealth. But very few are willing to do the things that wealthy people do, in order to become wealthy people themselves.
How can the Joneses afford to live that way? The truth is…they can’t.
So the moral of the story is…
Stop comparing yourself to the Joneses…or anyone else for that matter. You don’t need to impress them or anyone else. It’s not worth it!
True contentment comes from within. It’s easy to think that if I just had enough money, or more stuff or this new thing, then I’d be happy. But true contentment and joy come from things that money can’t buy. What are your fondest memories? What are the moments in life that have warmed your heart and made you smile the most? Would you trade any of those for a bigger bank account, larger house or newer car?
Yours In Freedom,
Don't forget to pick up your copy of the free E-book, "Wake-Up Call: The Eye-Opening Truth About Debt, by visiting http://www.DavisCoachingSolutions.com
Tired of Keeping Up With The Joneses
May 13th, 2011 at 11:11 am