HomesteadingThe Real Reason You Shouldn’t Try to “Keep Up with the Joneses”

The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Try to “Keep Up with the Joneses”


Jon Spayde, a regular contributor on Experience Life online magazine website shares the real reason you shouldn’t try to “Keep Up with the Joneses”.

Pricey game tickets and concert seats, impromptu shopping trips, eye-popping tabs at expensive restaurants. They can all come with the territory when you’re hanging out with friends who have a lot of disposable income. But what if you don’t? Do you admit that something is too expensive for you and risk being left out? If they offer, do you agree to let them pay, and risk feeling guilty or ashamed about it? Maybe you make excuses to avoid hanging out with them, dreading the moment when they stop asking. Or do you just pay and pay until you’re on the verge of a financial meltdown?

According to financial coach Ruth Hayden, author of For Richer, Not Poorer: The Money Book for Couples (HCI, 1999), you can have fun with wealthier friends without feeling bad about yourself or breaking the bank. “The key,” she says, “is to develop a firm sense of who you are, and then to use a few simple rules to socialize sometimes with them, in ways that don’t hurt you financially.”

Here, Hayden suggests some strategies for doing just that.

Barriers To Overcome

• Feelings of inadequacy. Not being able to participate in social activities because of financial limitations can shake your self-confidence and self-esteem.

• Feelings of deprivation. You may really want to see the football playoffs from a corporate box or eat at the hottest new haute-cuisine restaurant. Bowing out can leave you feeling sorry for yourself, or jealous and resentful of your wealthier friends.

• Fear of abandonment. You may fear that if you keep saying no to outings with your better-off friends, you’ll be marginalized and pushed out of the tribe — invited less often or not at all.

• Excuse anxiety. It can be stressful to explain why you are continually ducking out of certain social engagements, especially if you find yourself making up false excuses: Keeping track of your fibs can be confusing, shame inducing — and exhausting.

• Money-taboo discomfort. It’s tough for some people to admit — even to themselves — that they simply don’t have the resources to keep up with their more affluent friends. In this culture, we almost never talk about our fiscal realities or cash flow because of a basic insecurity about how we’ll be perceived by others. Our financial status is closely tied to our sense of self-worth.
Strategies For Success

• Build self-acceptance. Establishing authentic relationships with any circle of friends starts with knowing who you are, where you are in life, and being OK with that. Realize that the main thing you bring to any social experience is the gift of your presence.

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Melissa Francis
Melissa Francis
Greetings! I'm Melissa Francis, the founder and primary contributor to The Homestead Survival. With over 20 years of experience in homesteading, sustainability, and emergency preparedness, I've dedicated my life to helping others achieve a simpler, more self-reliant lifestyle.

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