I’m tired of trying to keep up with the Joneses, Kardashians, or anyone else who has more money than me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Isn’t is about time we redefine this idea?
My last serious post about normal spending and saving habits got me thinking about how American people are always trying to keep up with the latest materialistic trends, yet we could care less about our saving habits. I think it is time to redefine “Keeping up with the Joneses”. Wouldn’t it be great if we compared ourselves to people who make smart money decisions? I’d like to strive to keep up with a family who saves for emergencies, retirement, and college, instead of a family who is maxing out credit cards or taking out a second mortgage.
The thing is, the Joneses look damn fine from the outside, but who knows what their financial situation is really like. We can compare ourselves to people with nice houses, fancy cars and the latest fashions all we want, but we will never know the inner workings of their finances unless they talk about it. I’d like to see more people talk about their finances so I can work towards a goal. Comparing ourselves is normal and it won’t ever stop. However, I’d like for us to stop comparing ourselves based on materialistic goods and see if we can compare ourselves with people who make good financial decisions. Just remember- sometimes good financial decisions lead to materialistic goods. You can have both!
How can we make the move in this direction? I think the first step is to start a conversation about money. So many people are afraid to talk about finances. It seems like a taboo topic for most people. But if we never talk about it, how will we ever know what is normal? My friend, Irene, once brought this up and made a good point about our friends who were buying houses. Most of our friends are in similar financial situations and many of them have just bought their first homes. Instead of acting like mortgages and taxes are off limit conversation topics, it would have been helpful if our friends all discussed these items so we could all have a better understanding of buying a first home. The thing is, these topics aren’t always interesting, but they are important parts of growing up. Signing paperwork on your first home shouldn’t be the first time you talk about these topics.
I challenge you to redefine “keeping up with the Joneses” by finding a financially responsible role model. Use people who make smart money decisions as your role models and challenge yourself to keep up with them. Maybe you will find that YOU are the financially responsible person, if so, step up and be a role model. Start conversations about money and let other people know that you are comfortable talking about financial decisions. Money is a huge part of our lives and it deserves to be discussed.
How do you feel about discussing money? Do you consider it to be a taboo topic? If so, why? I understand if you do. Honestly, I hate debating politics and I know tons of people who love it. As much as I hate talking politics, I’ve found that I learn a lot when I am open-minded and listen to other people’s perspectives. Even if you don’t want to discuss money, you should still try to educate yourself to make good financial decisions.