Do you have a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality? You know, the mindset that you should have a better, bigger, and brighter lifestyle than those less fortunate, little people around you? Yep…you know what I’m talking about!
Now, I just have one more question. Are you broke? Yes, I know, you probably are. You probably spent your last red cent on that last pair of red-bottomed Louboutin’s. And to you, only having lent left in your pockets is totally worth having the BEST.
Debt: The ugly underbelly of luxury
More than likely, you have exhausted more than just your cash flow in pursuit of life’s luxuries. You probably also have a mound of credit card debt and a credit score that would make any lender lament with laughter. Now, I have another question: Is everything that you are sacrificing really worth “keeping up with the Joneses”?
I’m not saying all debt is bad. Most everyone has some form of debt, but that doesn’t mean they’re living above their means. In fact, debt has a way of entering everyone’s life at some point. Usually it’s by way of a car note, a student loan, a mortgage, or a credit card (which we only used for emergencies, of course). Having debt is not the problem. Debt is what builds your credit history and your credit score. Lenders want to see how you handle your debt. And trust me, they can tell if you are trying to fund a lifestyle that you cannot afford.
Trying to keep up with the Joneses will only keep you in debt, continually shredding any hope of getting yourself out of it. Living above your means will eventually catch up to you. The “things” keep getting better and bigger while your bank account and credit score keep getting smaller and smaller, until, eventually, there’s nothing left. No money and no more credit, so the jig will ultimately be up! (Can you imagine how humbling that experience will be?).
Living within your means? Priceless…
Living above your means is hard! It’s expensive! So instead of pursuing the “keeping up with the Joneses” dream, why not pursue your own dreams? It’s okay to have nice things, but you need to be able to afford them. Stop competing to live someone else’s reality. The “Joneses” reality is only a fantasy anyway—a very expensive fantasy. There will always be someone richer, always someone who has nicer things, and they may or may not be as happy as someone who has less. It’s okay to pursue happiness, just make sure you refrain from using a warp lens of reality while you’re trying to find it.