Just like most people believe they are all awesome drivers, they also assume they aren’t spending money needlessly.
I first learned about this concept of keeping up with the Joneses in elementary school. It was at a time were teachers were talking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. It’s pretty simple, there are several needs humans need to fulfil. They fall in this order where unless the need prior is fulfilled, you cannot meet the next need: 1) Physiological, 2) Safety, 3) Belonging, 4) Esteem and 5) Self-actualization. Second from the top is Esteem, which is a need fulfilled by respect of others; loosely translated this means: keeping up with the Joneses.
The fact of the matter is: The Joneses are broke and deeply in debt.
The Joneses live in a heavily mortgaged house, drive leased SUV’s, have a financed boat, watch a “rent to own” 65” LED TV, and sit on “don’t pay a cent event for one full year” furniture.
The Joneses are fooling some people, but not me. Be smart about your money, buy only what you can afford with cash you have in the bank, and get into High Return Real Estate group investing so you can make your money work for you. Trim your needs and don’t go out and lease or rent every new toy out there just to impress your neighbours. Trust me, your neighbours and friends don’t care if you are broke or not, are not really that impressed and think the Joneses are jerks anyways.
I’ve personally made it a goal to focus more on experiences rather then material things. If you live your life looking for the respect of others based on the car you drive or the house you live in you will always be broke. Chasing newer and better things ultimately won’t make you happy, true happiness needs to be long lasting and only comes as a result of some higher purpose or being part of something bigger then yourself.
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