Who are the Joneses and why are we trying to keep up with them?

“Comparison is the thief of joy”. – Theodore Roosevelt

You know what? Some of us insist on maintaining lifestyles that we can’t afford. So even though we can’t buy what we used to buy, eat out like we used to, go out as often as we used to, we’re doing it anyway

Why? Because others we know are still going along as if nothing has changed for them. So we think that we have to keep up the charade too. Can’t be any joy in that.

Instead of trimming our tastes to suit the smaller size of our pockets, we still persist in doing everything just as we always did, even though we no longer have the money to do it. This need to keep up with the Joneses is costing us.

Because why would I need to ask for a loan from a businessperson, not for a medical emergency, not for study, not to start my own business; but merely to maintain a lifestyle which I’ve grown accustomed to? And since this lifestyle isn’t providing any dividends, it sure isn’t helping me to pay back the loan.

Why would I leave my home kitchen and the cooking gas that I paid for, to have a sit-down breakfast every morning in a restaurant when I’m juggling my utility bills? Why would I pay for a gym membership when walking on the road is free or I can purchase a few DVD’s? And what about those ever present school fees?

If I made no comparisons and had nothing to prove, I guess I’d be happy with what I had and make do with it. But since some people I know can afford to change their cars every two years, go to Disney every summer, send their children to exclusive private schools in the morning and pay for swimming and football in the afternoon, I feel compelled to keep trying.

But if I’m trying to keep up with them, who they trying to keep up with?


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