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Keeping Up with the Joneses

"Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know."
~Robert Kiyosaki~

We live in a society where money and material holdings flow like water. We are all competing and trying to better ourselves. This is what makes us vulnerable to financial problems.

But some of us tend to try to “keep up with the Joneses,” even if that means burdening ourselves with unnecessary debt that might, one day, come back to haunt us.

For many of us, trying to keep up with other people is a way of life although it puts us in a precarious place, especially in our own state of financial well being. We fail to stop and consider the fact that there are many financial factors that lie between ourselves and the Joneses. 

The expression “Keeping up with the Joneses” makes reference to the desire to own as much, and to appear to be as well to do, as others around us. Unfortunately, many personal bankruptcies have been filed because of the need to “keep up with the Joneses.”

There are many who are not swayed by others and are able to "walk to the beat of their own drummer," so to say. However, many of us are influenced by what other people have and what we think they have.

We often equate the worth of a person with what they have acquired by way of money and material possessions, such as a house, a car, jewelry, how often they take vacations, etc.

Some of us think that it is important to be like the "Joneses," and not being able to keep up makes us feel culturally inferior or inferior on a socio-economic level.  

According to The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, the expression, “Keeping up with the Joneses,” comes from a comic strip created by Arthur R. "Pop" Momand in the early 1900s.

"Keeping up with the Joneses" was so well liked that it was adapted into books, musicals, comedies, and film, and the phrase is still used today.

It takes guts and stamina and a lot of self-confidence to learn to stop trying to keep up with others and to spend no more than you can afford to spend.

Many people have learned this lesson the hard way by ending up with large amounts of debt and no savings.

Remember this: You may be trying to keep up with the Joneses while the Joneses may be trying to keep up with other Joneses, and so on, and so on, and so on. The Joneses may be struggling financially too, a lot more than what you might think.

The bankruptcy courts are full of Joneses.

So be happy for the Joneses and don't let their perceived success get you down. In other words, manage your own money responsibly and stop worrying about what the Joneses are up to.  


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