Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Don't keep up with the Joneses...ignore them.

Okay we bought our current house from, ironically, the Joneses in a fairly nice neighborhood back in 2000. They moved to a house with lake access. The temptation of owning nicer stuff surrounds me on my little street. New cars, boats, RVs and more are displayed by my neighbors. I don't know how much they make or if they make saving for retirement a priority. I imagine that they all have a higher per household income than I do. How else can they afford all that stuff that they have? An incredible amount of debt??? I secretly hope so...I hope that they are paying boatloads [pardon the pun] of interest as I struggle with making the decision not to buy the newest greatest vehicle or gadget on credit.

I try mightily to ignore their excess. I live in America so I think that all that excess should be mine. But deep down I know that I don't need all that stuff. I don't need to drink the expensive beers. I don't need the designer clothes.

Don't get me wrong I don't live a life of total restraint. I do give into an occasional material desire. I recently received some extra money in my direct deposit that I added to the money I had been saving and purchased that big TV that I wanted. No debt!!!

I don't go out for lunch except to meet friends [less than once every two months]. My lunch usually consists of a sandwich or leftovers heated in the microwave. I watch coworkers head to lunch and they enjoy a meal at a restaurant. Their meal may be more filling or taste better but I take comfort in the fact that I spend less than a dollar while they spend $5.00 to $10.00 nearly every day. Assuming that they go to lunch 220 times a year they spend about $1,100 more than I do on lunch. Seeing that number makes almost makes me laugh at those Joneses. I think that the only time not to ignore the Joneses [and I know that it is difficult] is when you find an example like them spending that much more on lunch than I do.

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