canstockphoto0826150Many people have fallen into the trap of consumerism in order to compete with their friends, neighbors, coworkers and even complete strangers. They often purchase material things such as luxury vehicles and expensive clothes based on the status symbol. Even though there are many items they can pay for without going into debt, they choose to purchase things that are beyond their means just because of the image that it presents. This behavior is the reason many people go into debt or file for bankruptcy in some cases.

Whenever you are watching television, have you noticed the car commercials promoting their luxury brand vehicles. They create ads that position these vehicles as being the best choice for people that are successful. These ads are working their magic since these vehicles are filling up school parking lots where parents and teachers are impressed of what their peers are driving. This is post-elementary peer pressure at its best.

 

This type of pressure has taken over so much that it often lead many people to get of thousands of dollars in debt. Here are five steps you can take to get rid of the Keeping Up With The Joneses Mindset.

1. Enjoy doing activities that will bring your family true happiness. There are many things that you can do to have fun together that’s inexpensive or you don’t have to spend money at all in some cases. Instead of taking an expensive vacation why not do things locally? You can go to local attractions such as the carnival, petting zoo or the beach. Some of these places give customer discounts on certain days.

2. Don’t Make Impulse Purhases. Think of how much impact the purchase will have on your finances. It doesn’t matter whether you are making minor or major purchases. Create a written plan on the beginning and end date that you would like to clear off your debt. Make your payments bi-weekly or on a monthly basis. Before you go shopping, determine what you will need to buy and always make your purchase in cash. Sticking to this strategy will double or even triple your savings.

3. Be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the things that you have in your life instead of what you don’t have. You may think that you want to drive a new sports car or get a big house. Would it really make you happy to struggle to pay for these things? The only winner in the end are the banks.

4. Take a deeper look at your home and career. Instead of getting yourself into debt by moving into a new house, make improvements to your existing home. This is a lot better than paying for a mortgage and it will also increase its value. If you are thinking about changing careers you can start a side business until you are able to make enough money to quit your day job.

5. Hang out with people who are responsible with their finances. Be very selective when it comes to the people that you bring in your family’s life. If your friends are wreckless with their finances then you should take shopping trips separately. Don’t feel guilty for turning them down whenever you’re asked to go to the mall. It will take time to resist your old habits and keep negative influences at a minimum.

Apprecitiating time with your family, being grateful for the things you have,  improving your existing home and career, staying in control of your spending habits and  having friends around that’s responsible when it comes to their finances are five steps you can take to get rid of the keeping up with the joneses mindset. These things will add real value in your life.

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