Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Keeping up with the Jones'

Very few people are immune to the feeling of wanting to keep up with the Joneses. Often I am not terribly bothered about keeping up, but lately, well since I have moved back I have felt this urge to update everything. Part of that could be because we are updating most of the house, but I know another part of it is me just wanting to have something better than someone else.

I have been wanting a new phone for some time. I really wanted an iphone or another smart phone, maybe a HTC Desire HD or something. I wanted to have access to twitter, facebook and blogging from my phone (yes my current phone is from the age of the dinosaurs), however I cannot bring myself to part with the amount of cash needed for one of these phones.

I could go on a plan but the cheapest plan is $32.90 more than I currently spend on credit a month and would be a 24 month contract, so really the phone would cost me $789.60. I could buy one of them on eBay for less out right.

I know a new phone is not a big deal in the scheme of things and I know I would use lots of the apps and things on a smart phone, but I wonder if I want it for the benefits or if it is just my little green eyed monster popping out again.

I do need a new phone, the reception on my current one is hopeless. But I could make do with a cheaper phone.

How do you deal with the desire to keep up with the Joneses.?
I don’t know why and it is crazy, but I often feel I need to be better than my husband’s family. It is quite ridiculous, but I think I have this subconscious desire to prove to them how good my husband is and how much he can achieve. I think it stems from him being constantly put down, being told he is stupid etc... I want to show them ‘look no he’s not stupid! He’s got everything you want and we can afford it, it’s not on credit!’ It’s like by having things I can show how smart and successful he/we are.

That is stupid and thankfully I do not usually fall for it. I used to when I lived here before, but since living elsewhere and moving back I see how blessed we are.

When we first moved back I wanted to do everything quickly, get rid of this house, get a better one and buy the furniture we want all with a loan because we could pay it off once we sell the house. Then I realised how much extra that would cost us and the desire quickly changed.

The reality of paying hundreds of dollars in interest, moving house AGAIN (We have moved 11 times in our almost 5.5yr marriage), the costs incurred with moving and that sick in debt feeling made me change my mind.

Instead we are saving for each thing we want. We have a list of priorities we want and are working towards. It will take a bit longer but it is still doable within our timeframe. We still want to move house but the urge to move asap has subsided and we plan on moving in 12 – 18months. It will be to where we want to live and we won’t be moving again.

The desire to buy everything we want/renovate immediately is still there, but it is not as strong.

So what do you do to stop the desire to upgrade everything?


  1. I look at my bank balance then imagine it going down =) I hate that feeling. DH normally asks me if he can have it and I say no LOL

    I have great plans for 'one day' and I will have what I want but there is not point getting some things when we have little children and that is a great motivator!

  2. I totally know where you are coming from with this post. But, honestly I don't really care how other people live or what they have. I sometimes wish that we would upgrade our stuff but that is truly out of need rather than want.

    I think it stems from living for me and not for someone else. I am so happy for my friends and family to have huge incomes and great homes (afterall I get to share in some of their success) but for me it is about keeping life simple and recycling, reusing and reinventing.

  3. I look at my budget, I look at my balances and I think: Does it make sense in the grand scheme of things. Can I afford to splurge on it (depending on the price) and what else is coming up to pay for? Can I delay it?

  4. I am bad about spending money. But a lot of times thinking of what Dave Ramsey (Financial Peace) would say about the purchase, will stop me in my tracks, LOL!
    {PS-I did upgrade to the 4g iPhone, but it is the first phone I have purchased in 6 years.}


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