Have you ever met anyone who buys stuff they hate?
Who willingly goes out of their way to blow money just because they see someone else doing it?
I haven’t, yet we’re always talking about these “Joneses” who we’re supposedly keeping up with as if we were robots without any capability to think for ourselves!
We are influenced by them, but the real reason we buy stuff isn’t just to be like other people. No.
IT’S BECAUSE WE LIKE $HIT!
- We like big TVs because they’re big!
- We like nice houses because they’re nice!
- Vacations? We’ll take 10, please!
- Fancy cars/clothes/coffee/avocados on top of avocados? NOM NOM NOM…
Everything we’ve ever bought or spent money on (outside of bills and boring adult stuff) we’ve done so because we LIKED what we got in return for it at the time.
We may not be happy with ourselves later, but in that given moment of time we traded our cash because we WANTED to, and because it made sense to us. We saw something we loved, and we went for it – pretty straightforward.
There were no Joneses holding up guns to our heads.
I state the obvious for two reasons:
- We like to place blame on other people for the stupid stuff we do
- At the same time, we’re also in the terrible habit of not cutting ourselves some slack!
Placing blame on others — Yes, where you live and work and hang out all influence us one way or the other, no doubt about it. And the wiser of us get better at navigating around it, while the others get crushed by it. But at the end of the day, YOU, PERSONALLY, are the only ones making decisions on how you choose to spend your own money. Sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you make the wrong call.
(And not all Joneses are bad btw. Everyone here reading this blog are The Joneses to someone else, and we’re all even Joneses to ourselves here! Which I like to think is a good thing :))
Cutting ourselves some slack — While it’s important to accept responsibility for our actions, it’s also important to not always give ourselves such a hard time too. We win some and we lose some, but either way we were making decisions with all the info and beliefs available to us at that time. You’re never going out of your way to buy something you’ll later regret! You’re buying it because you really want it in that moment and you think you’re making the right call. And often times those bad decisions could have easily gone the other way!
(A perfect example – us buying a house because we thought it was the “responsible” thing to do. While the first couple of years were ignorantly blissful, by the end of the decade we wanted out and eventually wiped our hands of it completely, swearing off home ownership altogether. It didn’t work out for us, but it very well could have and maybe right now you’d be reading a blog from some real estate moguls?! Look how many $$ bloggers rave about investing in houses! On the flip side, we gave investing in stocks a shot and that one panned out beautifully, so now we’re champions of that route here.)
The point is, sometimes we’ll buy stuff and it’ll turn out well, and sometimes we’ll buy stuff and it won’t. But at the end of the day it was always something we wanted at that given time, and it was always 100% our choice.
Cut yourself some slack going forward, and then go and apologize to The Joneses* for always throwing them under the bus :) They are not to blame!
*You can blame The Joneses here though for making your finances better – we’ll fully accept that ;)