You Don't Care About The Joneses, Yet Your Finances Say Something Different
We say we don't care what others do. We say we don't care about what other people think of us. We say we are unique and stand out. We say we are not other people. Yet, deep down, you care what others do. You care what other thinks. You want to be like them. Don't believe it? Look at your finances.
We live in a society where we value the opinions of others. We want to be like others. We want to look like the others. We want to compete with those Joneses: the family with the perfect house and the perfect family. You know them, they are the ones that have it all.
We want people to think we have it all together. We want others to want what we pretend we have. We want others to accept us, like they accept the Joneses. They have the perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect family, etc; but when asked if we want to be like that, or care what other thinks, we say nope! We don't care.
Nothing Good Comes From Keeping Up With The Joneses
Yet, somehow your finances are a mess. You don't have a budget. You are stressing over money, all because you want to be better than the Joneses. You want to be accepted. You want to be like them. Your credit card debt is out of control; but if you keep the appearances up, it doesn't matter.
The truth is the Joneses are broke. The perfect family you are so intent on competing with doesn't exist. If you are looking for happiness by trying to be a family with the perfect appearances, that doesn't exit; you are never going to find them. If you think happiness only comes from being a perfect family that has it all, then you are wrong. You need to evaluate the way you are living and what's important. Money?
Keeping up with the Joneses only brings unhappiness and a financial mess. Nothing good comes from keeping up with the Joneses. Nothing. If lying to others about your finances to gain respect or approval is what you are doing, are you happy? Wealth is not about money, but a state of mind. This entire way you are living is a state of mind, a currently terrible state of mind.
You say you don't care what others do, yet your finances say otherwise. You buy a big house because you want others to see how successful you are. You buy an expensive car because your neighbor bought one, or just because it was expensive to show off to others. You go shopping using credit cards because you want to have the name brand so others don't make fun of your clothing. Who exactly are you competing with?
Are you seeing a pattern here? This is a mindset, a terrible mindset that affects many people. It seems like you are living to please others, not yourself. It seems like your finances are more about appearances than anything else. Your finances are out of control. Your marriage is a mess. Your debt is out of control, my friend, meet the Joneses! The broke family.
The good news is that life is full of second chances; you can fix your finances, but most importantly, fix yourself and your mindset. This happens to the majority of us, regardless of our income. It's all because we want to fit in and be like others to be happy; yet not realizing that money doesn't equal happiness. Nothing good comes out of keeping up with the Joneses. NOTHING.
7 Reasons Why You Are Wasting Your Time With The Joneses
Here are the 7 reasons why you are wasting your time keeping up with the Joneses:
- You will always be broke – Yes, you will always be broke, no matter how much money you have. You are worrying to keep up appearances; to fit in and be like others with no regards of how much money you are spending. You have no control of your money. You will always be in debt as long as you believe that having what others have equals happiness. You will have car loans, credit card debt, mortgage, etc; just because you want to keep up with the Joneses.
- It's too much work – Keeping up appearances can be tiresome. Seriously, you are constantly hiding from who you really are to keep up with appearances. It's emotionally draining and not worth it.
- You compare yourself to others – Can you imagine living a life worrying about what others think or would do? Terrible isn't it. Well, if you sit back and evaluate your finances and your mindset, you will notice that this is the way you are living your life. You purchase things because others have it. You want to fit in, so you purchase things without realizing that you can't afford them. This mentality that we have to compete with the Joneses doesn't allow us to simply be ourselves. Instead, we have to constantly look and compare what others have, because we want to fit in.
- You don't have real friends – If you are keeping up with appearances and trying to impress people because you are afraid of what they might say about you or that they won't like you, then they are not your friends at all. Why would you keep people like this around? Why surround yourself with people who don't like the real you.
- People will use you – Acting like you have money and not a care in the world to impress others will lead people to use you. You have a wonderful home and people come to party at your place to eat your stuff. Hey, if it's free and they are not forking the bill, why wouldn't they hang with you?
- You will never be happy – You will never be happy because you are constantly worrying about others and trying to keep up. You might get more money, yet I doubt that you will be happy with that. The reason why is because you haven't stopped to look and see what is important. You are so worried on how to keep up, that your own personal happiness has been put on hold.
- You are raising entitled children – Let's face it, what exactly are you teaching your children? That trying to compete with others and being in debt to impress others is the way to be? Whether you like it or not, you are a role model to your children; for this reason, you need to evaluate what is important. Getting your children the expensive toys so others won't think you can't afford it, is teaching your children….. (you think hard about this one).
How to fix this Joneses Mindset
First you have to sit back and take a good look at yourself. You need to look deep inside you to find out why you are doing this. Bad childhood? Career frustration? Life trouble?
If seeing someone else's career success or someone purchasing a new vehicle brings your happiness down, it's because you think of their success as something much better than yours. Be happy for them and move on. You don't have to be like them. You don't have to outdo their success to prove you are better. Envy is a terrible thing, and with that, comes judgment.
How I managed to break free from this mentality was when I was in debt, trying to impress others, and stressed to the max. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong. Why I was so sad. I was a single mom, then I met a wonderful man; yet, I wasn't happy and I was broke, even though I had a good career.
When I finally realized, it was me and my spending that created the financial mess I was in. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, then everything fell into place. I spent money because I thought people would like me. I was depressed. When I realized that these were the causes of my financial problems, I took charge of my life and my finances. I decided that I needed to budget. I needed to pay off my debt. I needed to stop comparing myself to others and be me. I needed to start living for what mattered to me and my family.
I accepted that I wasn't perfect. I accepted that I wasn't the perfect mom. I accepted that I was trying to compete with something, or someone, that doesn't exit. With hard work, and setting up goals, I was able to achieve what I set out to do without worrying about others.
If you want to be successful, write down your goals and take charge. BE PROUD OF OTHERS. BE HAPPY FOR OTHERS. When you stop caring about the Joneses, you start living life. Nothing good will come out of keeping up with the Joneses. NOTHING. This is something that you have to remember.
Accepting my insecurities, and my faults, led me to the road of financial freedom; the road of discovering what life is about. Money and the Joneses can have each other, because I can tell you that when you start living your life the way you intended it, people will admire you. People will respect you, because they know the real you.
When you stop competing with the Joneses, you will be surrounded with people that truly love you for who you are. You will not have to pretend anymore, and the stress will be gone. So if you are reading this post, and you think you are not keeping up with the Joneses, take a look at the way you are living your life. Take a look at your finances and decide.
It is never too late to change and start living life. Many, like myself, did; the Joneses can keep their broke!
Are you keeping up with the Joneses? What made you change?
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Featured at Share The Wealth Sunday.