The Keeping Up with the Jones’s Effect



28 August 2019 0 comments

Do you often find yourself scrolling through the many gorgeous images on Pinterest or Instagram and, perhaps subconsciously, promptly begin fantasizing about winning the lottery? Do you allow yourself to imagine all of the many ways your life would be infinitely better if only you could trade lives with that one social media blogger you follow? If you’re silently nodding your head right now in agreement, it is quite possible that you’ve got a case of what I call “needing to keep up with the Jones’s”.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of constantly trying to keep pace with the social influences in our lives. While this idea is certainly nothing new, the pure prevalence of social media in our lives makes it seemingly impossible at times to avoid feeling inadequate. If this describes you and/or thoughts and feelings you have had, I encourage you to take a deep breath, close your eyes, relax your shoulders, and pause. You got this, lady! It’s time you focused less on the influences beyond your control and instead, focus more on what is within your grasp: your attitude, your sense of gratitude, and your financial health.

First order of business: adjusting your ATTITUDE.

“Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abe Lincoln

One of the most empowering things you can do in life is to decide to be in charge of your attitude. Only you can control how you respond to a situation, and only you can decide the type of life you’d like to lead. Instead of wishing life had dealt you a different hand of cards, play them to the best of your ability.

Next up: increase your GRATITUDE.

Remembering that each day is a gift is a great way to refocus your priorities on what is actually important. Having trouble stopping to smell the roses and appreciate the seemingly trivial blessings in your life? Set an alarm in your phone for the same time each day to remind yourself to be grateful. Need help, even still? Try writing down one thing you are grateful for before climbing into bed at the close of each day.

Finally: take ownership of your FINANCIAL HEALTH.

Most social media applications only feature photos from folks when they’ve got something positive to share. Remember, no one likes to post when they’re feeling down or are having a particularly tough day. Don’t compare yourself to the highlight reel of glamorous posts on your newsfeed. Instead, take ownership of your financial health so that you, too, can be in a better position in the years to come. A few recommendations:

  • Start Early! – it is never too early to be thinking about retirement. Take advantage of an employer-sponsored retirement plan if this is available to you. If your employer is willing to match your contributions to this type of plan, even better! Be sure to max out your contribution so that you can ensure you’re not leaving any free money on the table.
  • Implement a Budget! – Establish your budget, and make a point to review at the end of every month so that you can hold yourself accountable.
  • Build and Maintain Good Credit! – Make your minimum monthly payments each month and pay all other bills on time. Establishing yourself as a responsible individual will serve your credit well, which you’ll need when it is time to make a big purchase later in life.
  • Live Within Your Means! – You still can live like a queen while still living within your means (read more about this here!), provided you are diligent with your budget and prioritize your expenses.
    • Want to take a trip with some friends? Save your pennies and consider traveling during an “off-season”. Not only will you save money, you’ll be able to avoid long lines of tourists and exorbitant museum fees

myneedtolive guest blogger

Author: Brittan Leiser

Brittan Leiser is a Financial Advisor in Cleveland, Ohio. Brittan created AdvisHER after recognizing that in the male dominated financial industry, women often felt ignored or overwhelmed when it came to having a conversation about their own personal finances. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, Brittan is passionate about helping clients understand their financial options in order to achieve their true potential.

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