(Wealth) keep up with the Joneses

Money Identity

Economic reality often clashes with how people identify themselves.

A Pew Research Center study found that 90% of Americans ranging from those near poverty to those making $100,000 a year identify themselves as middle class.

Why?

Because being poor is uncomfortable while the rich want to seem modest. Actual middle-class citizens are scared that economic factors like flattened incomes and rising health care and college costs will force them to downscale.

Nowadays, typical American families earn a little less than they did in 2000. People seem more restless and discontent as they challenge the notion that money and possessions ensure happiness.

But money can’t buy you, or anyone, happiness.


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Though money provides life’s necessities, some measure of freedom and more personal options, pursuing cash can become habitual. Among the reality that we need to consider is that a larger paychecks typically bring more responsibility and stress.

The Great Recession caused many people to reassess their view of money in relation to quality of life. People form their “money identity” during childhood, so how you regard money depends on what you witnessed at home. One man remembered having to cover for his parents when debt collectors came to the door because they had overindulged on Christmas presents.

As a result, he was careful with his finances when he became a father. He passed that trait along to his children, who grew up taking pleasure from secondhand clothes and inexpensive beer.

In trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” people give little thought to how the Joneses actually live.

Do their perceived material advantages make them happier or more secure?

Do they enjoy meaningful relationships?

Do they have time for fun?

The odds are that the Joneses, like many others, work longer hours and take less vacation than other people in most of the industrialized world. Which could be at the expense of our family life, or even health. Everything does indeed comes at a price. The question is how much do you ready to pay?

According to a 2010 survey of roughly 450,000 Americans, “money has no measurable effect on daily contentment” once you reach $75,000 a year. The US Census Bureau says roughly 34% of Americans earn at least that amount, yet the belief persists that additional income ensures additional happiness.

Generally speaking, society does not support introspective examination of personal values or quality of life in relation to money.

Besides, when it come to money, I believe there’re 2 ways to be rich. One is to have everything you want or the other is to want everything you have.


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Categories: Blogging & Making Money, Careers & Work Life Pro Tip, Personal Development, Personal Finance

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