Long before the highlight reel of Facebook and Instagram made us insta-jealous, folks were intimidated by their neighbors and “keeping up with the Jones'”.
That was the term used to describe being envious and influenced by what people in our inner circle had and were doing. Keeping up with other people usually causes debt and a sense of greed and entitlement. That’s no way to live.
Comparing lifestyles and judging ours as inadequate will never help us make better decisions because we simply don’t know how the Jones’ got what they have.
For all we know, they may have a trust fund or parents who support them with money and/or material things. We never know if someone has a mortgage payment or has all the bright-shiny-things and debt up to their eyeballs.
So don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’. Focus on your goals, on your budget, and on track for your wealth instead.
Here are some helpful tips for staying focused when you feel pressure or jealousy.
Set Goals and Review Them Regularly
Having a goal gives you something to work towards. If you find yourself jealous over what someone else has, think about what you can do to get yourself into a position to have what you want.
Do you need to go back to school and earn a degree? Do you need to get ahead of your debt to free up money? Set goals that move you closer to what you value and put your energy and focus on achieving them.
Be a Long-Term Thinker
Sometimes short-term gain comes with long-term price tags that aren’t worth their cost. Be a long-time thinker and make a strategy to achieve what matters to you. Want to be a homeowner or take an annual vacation? Plan accordingly. Making short-term buying decisions that don’t bring you lasting happiness robs you of the things you really want.
Surround Yourself with Like-minded People
We are most like the five people we spend the most time with. Make sure the people you spend the most time with are high-quality and have similar goals. Enjoy dinner pot-luck weekend BBQ’s and share babysitting to help one another keep your financial goals. Find ways to share resources and pool together rather than be in competition for who-has-what.
Comparing yourself to your neighbor or those in your close circle should feel encouraging and inspiring. If you find yourself feeling intimidated and jealous, you need to shift your mindset.
Being in awe of someone should encourage you to want to be more and do better. Feeling bitter over someone’s objects only causes discord. Find ways to forget about keeping up with the Jones’ and focus on what you already have and the great plans you have for your future.