IS MONEY ENVY SENDING YOU BROKE?
With the popularity of the internet, our lives are continually inundated with social media - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are good examples, and people are now more than ever comparing themselves to others. Envy of another’s money, position, job, relationships and even heritage are not new, but when this feeling begins to influence your life, financial ruin can be just a step away.
Negative effects of comparing yourself with others
When your neighbour paints their roof, builds a new pergola or fully renovates their home, do you rush to the bank to increase your mortgage to do the same? If your BFF buys a new outfit every week and goes on weekend trips and long overseas holidays, do you rush out and put that Bali holiday you can’t afford on your credit card?
What if your work college pulls up in the latest model fast car on the market, do you race to the showrooms and take on another loan you can’t afford, just to be one of the guys? Heaven’s above if your favourite celeb has a new hair-do, has just released a new perfume or was just seen with a wonderful designer handbag on Instagram!
Spending your hard-earned money and even borrowing money just to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and – shock horror – to keep up with your favourite celebs, is a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, there will always be someone who has more of something than you. They will wear more expensive designer clothes, buy better houses, go on better holidays and drive more expensive cars.
Not keeping on top of your finances and getting yourself deeper in debt, simply to impress others, is not a good strategy for building yourself a sound financial future.
Positive effects of comparing yourself with others
On the other hand, if you use what you learn about others to better yourself and your circumstances, then you are on your way to success in so many different ways. If your friend on Facebook has posted pictures of her latest holiday, instead of going into debt to book your own lavish holiday, why not think about how she affords her lifestyle?
Does your friend have a high-paying job, earned through hard worked combined with a good education or does she go into debt to fund her lifestyle? What is really important to you? What makes you happy? How do you really measure success anyway?
When you compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking, one of the best actions you can take is to use that feeling of envy and inadequacy to propel yourself further towards your own goals. Some of the most successful people in the world have dug deep to identify what really makes them happy and then pulled out all the stops to achieve this happiness.
Money doesn’t always bring happiness and money envy can, in the end, negatively impact your life and your financial future. Why try to live like someone else when with a little inward reflection, you can discover what truly makes you happy?