Keeping Up may Set You Back

by Matt B

HorsiesAre you jealous of your friends or business associates who make more than you? If the answer is yes, do you attempt to keep up with them in a financial sense? Buying things similar to theirs, eating at restaurants they frequent or maybe picking up checks that you can not afford? You are not alone, but you should be. First off, you are not fooling anyone. Your friends and colleagues fully realize that your situation is not like theirs. You will not attain their success by brown-nosing and hob-nobbing with them. If these people like and/or respect you at all, they will understand your situation and not expect you to help take care of them…they can do that themselves.

Do not Worsen Your Financial Situation Trying to “Keep Up” With your Friends

If your circle of friends make a substantially higher income than you, you will have to adjust.  There will be situations when they will want you around to do something that you can not afford.  Do not be afraid to say no.  Many who are frequently around those with more money than themselves end up in a compromising financial situation.  “Keeping up with the Joneses” will do nothing more than set you back.

They are your friends, they will not lose respect for you or ignore you just because you are not equal to them in the wallet.  If they do, they were not your friends in the first place.

Social Status Does Not Make You Wealthy

If you are hanging around the Country Club, looking for a way into the secret lives of the well-off and feeling like you do not belong, it is because you don’t.  You may think that you can sneak into their circle and get rich by association, but wealth does not work like that.  You will spend more than you have just trying to live a lifestyle above what you are financially capable.

Riding the Coattails of the Successful Business Man Can Get You a Job, but Little More.

If you are associating yourself with wealthy or successful people, in hopes of “getting a piece” of their pie, think again.  They may offer you a job, but it will likely be far below what you think you can do and you will not get paid well.  If you are trying to get rich by leeching on their success, they will notice and take advantage of your talents, or discard you completely. If you have read Rich Dad, Poor Dad (my review: here) then you know what I mean.

*Learning*

They may mentor you, which can be priceless.  If you associate yourself with successful people, and are looking to learn from them and not expect much (or anything) in return, they may well give you the knowledge to become successful.

Photo: Paul Keleher

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

The sister July 29, 2009 at 5:51 pm

It’s like that episode of the Simpsons when Marge buys that designer dress at a major discount and they get into the country club. She keeps altering it to make it look like it’s not the same dress. Eventually, it falls apart and the Simpsons realize they just don’t belong with the country club folk…

mattb July 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Good call! Man I wish the simpsons were on now instead of a whole half hour away!

Viviana July 31, 2009 at 9:55 am

This is exactly what happened to me when I was living in New York and worked in fashion. I needed to keep up appearances to make money so I would over spend on my credit cards, get paid a pittance and over spend again. It was a never ending cycle. Thank goodness that was ages ago and I have seen the light of frugality.

Matt B August 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I’m pretty sure that the Investment guy at my bank with the BMW and extremely expensive suits has the same problem. I’ve heard him complaining about debt way too many times.

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