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Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't Want What the Joneses Have

The Joneses.... The family that everyone tries to keep up with. Their lifestyle seems so glamorous yet so unattainable. But so many people try to keep up with them.

As we've taken a closer look at our finances, started getting out of debt, and continued saving money in our emergency fund, I'm finding myself with a different take on keeping up with the Joneses.

Usually the Joneses drive really nice cars.... with payments and higher insurance rates. We drive fairly nice vehicles with no payments and reasonable insurance rates. We're comfortable and safe when we drive.

Usually the Joneses live in a really nice house.... with a huge mortgage, higher insurance rates, and extra furniture. Our house is not huge, but it's big enough for us right now. We'll be moving to a larger home this summer. It's very nice (built by my dad and grandpa!), larger than this one, but still a size that's manageable for us. We'll be able to afford the payments as part of our monthly budget. It will have plenty of room to live and to enjoy the company of friends and family.

Usually the Joneses have to work A LOT to afford the things that they have. While we aren't against work, we also appreciate our family time. We've made choices that allow us to have plenty of time together as a family. Another 1000 square feet isn't worth the extra time at work. I sometimes wonder if the Joneses have any time away from work to actually enjoy the things that their money buys.

As we see the Joneses now, we often wonder if they can afford what they have or if they're in debt up to their eyeballs to keep up the front. Sure, many of these people pay cash, have emergency funds, and can afford what they buy. But there are so many who just want to look like they're the Joneses.

We're not being judgmental. We're just checking ourselves. Are we grateful for what we have? Do we only have what we can afford? What's our motivation for purchasing _____ (fill in the blank with anything)? Are we buying what we need? Or are we buying to keep up with the Joneses?

I'm thankful that we're not the Joneses. I don't want to be them. I don't want to keep up with them.

This post is linked to:
:: Gratituesday hosted by Heavenly Homemakers
:: Finer Things Friday hosted by The Finer Things in Life

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