Whether you’ve heard of the Joneses or not, it’s likely that you’re trying to keep up with them. Cambridge Dictionary defines Keeping up with the Joneses as “always wanting to own the same expensive objects and do the same things as your friends or neighbours because you are worried about seeming less important socially than they are.” The issue that social media has presented us with is that we are constantly exposed to our friend’s and influencer’s highlight reels, and we feel a need to keep up appearances with those who can’t even keep up with themselves. From renting the runway solely for pictures to photoshoots in G-Wagons, society norms are constantly being stretched to new heights.
In this article, we’re going to be talking about what social expectations we’re breaking up with and why.
It’s become second nature to us to get a new phone once the contract runs out but more often than not, the phone is still in perfect condition and can go on for a good few more years. We’re constantly blasted with marketing campaigns of the latest phones and new features (most of which get completely forgotten about anyway). The bottom line is, as long as you look after your phone, you can get much longer than we’re told out of it. Save some cash, keep your phone after your contract ends and move to a sim only plan.
Cars are one of the biggest expenses for households all over the country and they’re the main culprit when it comes to keeping up with the Joneses. Having a brand-new car is great for the ego but not our pockets. Our bank accounts don’t care about what we look like or how we’re perceived, they care about our financial wellbeing. Whether you’re spending a massive amount of money on a vehicle that depreciates as soon as you drive it off the forecourt or are stuck in the cycle of car finance (don’t get us started), unless you can totally afford it, you shouldn’t have it. Working your way up the car ladder is the most gratifying and sustainable thing to do.
Buy now pay later
Ahhh buy now, pay later (BNPL), where do we start. These checkout credit providers that dress as budgeting tools are enabling us to live way beyond our means. Not only does it instil a dangerous mindset when it comes to extremely unnecessary credit, but BNPL also avoids affordability checks meaning individuals could be left in the lurch when it comes to making the payments. If you really want to hear us get into it the ins and outs of BNPL, check out this article here.
Like with phones, it’s common for us to be constantly looking at how we can upgrade when it comes to houses. Of course, it all depends on what you prefer, but have you ever thought about downsizing? Moving to a smaller space could mean you have more spare money to invest, save or simply use as disposable income. Thanks to the Joneses, our brain is always thinking about how we can one-up our last move meaning we sometimes skip over the more sensible and affordable option.
How to break up with society expectations
Stick to a good money mindset
Your mindset around money is conducive to your financial wellbeing. Learn to instil a good money mindset that leaves you feeling fulfilled and not drained by your financial situation. It’s also a great way to help realise what’s important in life (spoiler: it’s not a fancy car and the latest iPhone); find out what you want and work towards it.
Work for it
Don’t be a slave to instant gratification. Things like car finance and BNPL might seem great and good value for money, but it’s teaching us to not have to work and budget for what we want. Having goals and working towards them is the best way to get there. Delayed gratification is where it’s at!
Put your blinkers on
We all love a good scroll on social media, but when it starts influencing your spending habits, it might be time to lock your screen. Unfollow unrealistic influencers who tempt you to splash your cash on the latest trends. You should never feel pressured to look a certain way; try surrounding yourself with people that have a positive impact on your life and like you for you, not your belongings.