I just finished reading an interesting article I found on Yahoo! Finance entitled "How to Avoid Money Envy." I found this article very interesting because it is talking about ways to avoid the want to keep up with those dang Joneses. Everyone believes that they are worse off then others and don't understand how so and so can afford such a nice house or such nice clothes or cars or vacations. This article talks about getting right down to it and realizing that so and so can't actually afford those nice things they are buying. I like the idea presented in this article where you find out your neighbor is going on a great trip to Paris. The author suggests saying to this neighbor how wonderful that sounds and you wish you could go on such a nice trip but just can't afford it right now. Then ask the neighbor how long they had to save in order to afford that trip. The neighbor might tell you they financed it or give you a look which lets you know they really can't afford it either! This makes you feel better and makes you realize there is no reason to keep up with the Joneses because chances are, they are in debt!
I find the money envy a problem with me. We have a couple that we are friends with who seem to be doing soo much better then us. When we go out to eat they try to pay for our check. It seems they are always buying such nice stuff and spending lots of money. Now I wonder how they are able to afford all this nice stuff. I know for a fact that they don't make any more money then us! I try telling myself that they are just digging themselves into a big debt hole but sometimes it is tough and I want to rush right out and prove to them that I can afford the same things they can. I must resist though and stick to my newly formed budget and continue to save. I have a feeling in 30 years or so I will be happy with my decision and notice that I am living much better then they are because of my larger retirement savings. Let me know what you think.