Keeping up with the Joneses

September 13th, 2012

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Every time my wife and I walk into a friend’s home we seem to be bombarded with a slew of subliminal messages telling us we don’t have enough and we need to buy more. My wife has even been quoted saying, “Leather couches, new cars, home decor, summer vacations and a baby on the way. How do they have all of this nice stuff?”

We analyzed our situation and often asked ourselves, “What were we doing differently than other couples our age?” We know each situation is different, so we tried to avoid comparisons and focus on what we could do to improve ourselves and our marriage, but that is sometimes hard to do.

Just like I said in my previous post, my wife and I came from both ends of the spectrum with finances. While I was the frugal, save-every-penny type, she loved to spend. When we had our first budget session we talked about how much debt we both had, what type of spending goals we had for the future and how we could grow together to compromise both of our spending views.

Now seven months into our marriage we still ask ourselves what we are doing wrong and why we can’t have all of the nice new things that other couples have. We created a budget and we have savings, but there never seems to be enough for a new car or new couches. When I communicated my feelings to my wife she reminded me we were still in the beginning phase of our life and the new stuff will come if we are responsible.

She then introduced me to a book she read called Financial Peace, by Dave Ramsey. After looking into it, I realized it outlined what we needed to do to obtain the things we want. We started taking baby steps and, although it hasn’t been easy, we’ve avoided going into debt to keep up with the Joneses.

I don’t mean to bombard the blog with two financial posts in a row, but I think this information is really important. It’s hard not to get caught up in the material hype of everyday life, but we know happiness comes from peace, whether emotional, spiritual or financial. My hope is that this entry will introduce you to a phenomenal program that will help your family. Click HERE for Dave Ramsey’s website. Take a look and see if there is anything you could do to reach your financial and personal peace.

What do you do to increase your wealth and lower your debt?