There are three newlyweds (including myself) at my job. One person told me another newlywed just bought a house. He asked me when would I be buying my first home? I politely informed him that I had already purchased a home when I was 27 (I’m now in my 30s). I know what a mortgage payment feels like. I told him that my husband and I are on a different path. My question is why do people feel the need to keep up with the “Joneses”?
Dear Mrs. Doing Your Own Thing,
I’m in my 30’s as well and I’ve found that this “keeping up with the Joneses’” syndrome is common and problematic. Generally, people our age have a checklist that includes marriage, home ownership, education, investments, children, etc. While it’s fine to have these goals, people who attempt to “keep up” base their life success on how fast other people they know are able to attain the abovementioned goals therefore measuring their success on the accomplishments of others.
“Keeping up with the Joneses” is problematic because measuring your accomplishments to that of others is unreasonable as you don’t know what people have done to get what they have. In your example, your coworker may have been able to buy a home because their parents gave them a down payment or their Grandma died and left them a ton of money. WE ALL AREN’T WORKING WITH THE SAME RESOURCES. People who want to “keep up” are often broke because they totally ignore their resource pool and focus only on impressing the people around them. You’d be AMAZED at the amount of people who carry around, Chanel, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Coach bags and have to pay ON bills instead of fully paying them off. Some would be surprised at people who travel to Vegas and D.R. for vacation, travel to NYC for shopping sprees, go out drinking with the guys/girls and don’t have a saving account in case of emergency. One might be shocked to know the amount of people who buy luxury vehicles because they have the money/credit to purchase it but can’t afford any of the maintenance.
With that said, many people who attempt to “keep up with the Joneses” are foolish, irresponsible and not to mention, usually one crisis away from being broke as hell and asking Mrs. Jones for money. So, let your coworker know that the safest place to be is not in the Jones’ business but in your own lane and moving at your own pace.
Can you drink to that?