Are you keeping up with the Joneses and the Kardashians?
Do you feel small just because you can’t buy the things that you “need” but your neighbors can buy anything they “want”?
Comparing our limited financial capacity with others is oftentimes the main reason why we make bad spending decisions.
It makes our flesh weak and the pocket even weaker.
Can We Get Rid of Comparisonitis?
Sometimes the reality is hard to accept. And it really makes envious people feel bad.
When a housewife envy the neighbor’s wife weekly shopping sprees. When a husband gets jealous of his officemate who just purchased a new car. When parents decide to send their kids to the most expensive day care school in town just because one of the richer neighbor couple’s children are studying there.
Even if the current source of income is obviously not enough to pay for all these wants.
That’s why I mentioned in my previous article “When Salary Increases, Do You Upsize Your Lifestyle?” that it’s important to keep the modest lifestyle and the budget that you had before you received that promotion or salary upgrade. That habit will give you more opportunity to save and invest the increased portion as part of your emergency or retirement fund or even for your child’s college education.
However, it’s not only the spending that’s always been hit by comparisonitis. Sometimes when people learn that a friend’s loan is lesser than they owe, they start to think that, well, “I can borrow more” or “Hey, I can treat myself now”.
Financial decisions become worse when people begin to emulate at celebrities or wealthier neighbor’s spending habits.
I know most of these people struggle. They want to save and grow their money more. So how can they get rid of comparisonitis and start to live just below their means?
1) Pray before you get envious
Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and mature. – Romans 12:2
It’s okay to sometimes see the difference between you and others. That will make you realize that you need to humble yourself and accept that there are people who are more able than you. Prayers are very powerful to help you clear your heart and mind.
2) Know what you are jealous of
People tend to get envious most often with their own siblings or relatives. When a cousin suddenly receives a six-figure paying job or a very profitable business in a location that you’ve been targeting to own for so long.
Maybe it’s time to re-figure out and draw on a vision board what your real financial goals are. This way you will be clear on things in your life that you need to prioritize.
3) Give a compliment to people who brag what they have
This happens when there are family or school class reunions. Never try to match the relative’s or classmate’s car or gadgets when they start to brag about them. You can just mention to them that what they have are definitely awesome and that they really deserve to have them. That should end the money showdown.
4) Love yourself and what you have
Most of the time, the people that we get envious of maybe spending more hours working than the time that they have with their families. Most of them “own” the things you get jealous of by maxing out their credit cards. They may have relatives who provide them extra financial support. You’ll never know.
Always be thankful for everything that you already have. While other people splurge on nice clothes, fancy cars, big houses, high-end gadgets, and other materialistic things, you should be grateful for having a healthy body, a loving family, a growing professional career, or a happy circle of true friends.
It’s time to look at what you do and what you have. List down all your blessings. Pray over them. Post them on your wall to remind you that there are more things in life to be thankful for.
Love yourself and what you have. This is the most effective antidote to comparisonitis.
Follow my posts about living a frugal lifestyle by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com.
Join the OFW UsapangPiso Facebook Group and to learn how to plan your finances the right way and how to grow your money in various financial instruments and investment vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, UITF’s, bonds, money market, real estate, and others.
P.S. 1. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at email@example.com if you have any questions. Click here to join!
P.S. 3. I’m inviting you to attend our financial coaching/Q&A session with Jess Emerson Uy, a Filipino financial consultant based in Singapore who conducts financial literacy seminars at the Philippine Embassy there, on October 9, 2013, 7PM at Starbucks Paseo de Roxas in Makati City. This Q&A session dubbed as “Starting in Global Investing” will also be webcast LIVE over at the OFW UsapangPiso Webinar site. If you are based abroad and want to interact with Jess Uy live online, then register here. Those who are in Metro Manila may get in touch with Mr. Mon Lao at 09173262077 if you want to attend the coffeetable coaching sessions for FREE with Jess Uy at Starbucks Paseo de Roxas.
Photo credit: Jeremy G.