Are You or Someone you Know Trying to Keep up with the Joneses?

 Who are the Joneses? 

And why might YOU or someone YOU know be trying to keep up with them? 

Today on the Thrive For[e]ward podcast I share a personal story about a time in my life that I was challenged, swayed, and even slightly influenced. The biggest question is why? 

Today, we live in a world that a lot of people want to “keep up with the joneses” They buy, do and create experiences that compete and allow them to be perceived as fitting into a certain class structure. 

Credit card debt is at a national high because we swipe our card(s) thinking we can spend when we cannot afford to. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean we have to. 

There was a time in my life that I tried to fit into a space that I wasn’t ready for. I was 27 years old when I first had my opportunity to sit on an executive board. I was honored, I was the youngest at the table and although I had earned the right to be there, I felt insecure. All the people at the table drove fancy cars, they had nannies for their kids, they had all the right clothing, etc. And at that time, as I sat at the table, I had credit card debt, I had student loans and I had a young child at home – don’t get me started on the cost of childcare! To fit in, I thought I had to be in that space too. I started to look at myself more critically. How was I presenting myself?  

During this period, I made decisions that were probably not the best for me. Luckily, I realized it quickly and began the journey of getting to a healthy relationship with myself and my money. 

The biggest lesson I learned is, if you want something else, you have to be grateful for what you already have. 

It’s funny, when we really think about it, we must remember that we don’t really know what “the Joneses” have. Meaning, we don’t know if they are who they present themselves to be. How do we know that their lifestyle hasn’t just be purchased on debt? 

So, we should be asking ourselves … what are we teaching the next generation if we think we must have everything today?

Did you know that … 

  • 71% of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on referrals from social media

  • 81% admit being influenced based on recommendations/posts from friends

  • 78% of us admit to being influenced directly by businesses’ posts

  • 74% of us rely on social media to make a purchase decision

Allowing your financial decisions to be influenced by social media can be either positive or negative. Awareness of the pitfalls while using the advantages is the best way to approach this unavoidable blending of your social and consumer life. (Source: Moneyning.com)

When the spending is happening, you’re buying that new car, the name brand clothing, ask yourself, who are you doing this for? How will it impact them and how will it impact me? 

Are you buying things to keep up with your friends? 

Social media exacerbates the “Keeping up with the Joneses” affliction many of us suffer from. That FOMO (Fear of missing out) is real for many. You probably don’t know the financial situation of each of your friends and assuming you can afford something because they can — or worse, you’re trying to impress them — isn’t a sustainable strategy. (Source: Business Insider) 

It’s funny we don’t talk about what we make but we talk and show what we spend every day! 

I’ve seen so many times when people come to me, I see that they are spending to fill a void. This is not a generation problem this is affecting everyone. It leads back to the behaviors you were taught. 

I once heard that you must spend money to make money. But, I would say this…do you have a plan if you are spending to get that money back and then some? 

There is a first step to take and that is to do a gut check. What do you own and what do you owe? 

Then, see if you have someone that keeps you accountable. This might be a partner, a spouse, a financial consultant, or a friend. 

We at Forethought Planning are here to be a support in your journey and our goal is to provide information and resources to assist you in decisions surrounding your money. Feel free to check out our Money on Your Mind episode on “How can I have a better relationship with money?” to get some tips on changing your thought process surrounding your money! 

Resources: 

If you are interested in learning more about Forethought Planning and how we can help you on your journey, please schedule an appointment to our complimentary 30 min Wealth Assessment session to learn more about how we incorporate these strategies and others to assist you through the financial planning process.  

Securities offered through LPL Financial, a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Advisors’ Pride, a SEC registered investment advisor. LPL Financial, Advisors’ Pride, Forethought Planning and the guests of Thrive For[e]ward podcast are separate and unaffiliated parties. Any of the parties listed above are not affiliated with Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL Financial. The views expressed here are those of the participants, and not those of Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. LPL Financial and Forethought Planning do not offer legal services. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) / Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria excludes securities of certain issuers for non-financial reasons and, therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Advisors’ Pride, a SEC registered investment advisor. LPL Financial, Advisors’ Pride, Forethought Planning and the guests of Thrive For[e]ward podcast are separate and unaffiliated parties. Any of the parties listed above are not affiliated with Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL Financial. The views expressed here are those of the participants, and not those of Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. LPL Financial and Forethought Planning do not offer legal services.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) / Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria excludes securities of certain issues for non-financial reasons, and therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.

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