I don’t know if it’s just a local cultural thing but I do think that keeping-up-with-the-Joneses also happens beyond out borders. Envy might just be part of the human experience.
People often fall into the mucky pit that is neighbor envy. What good things others have, you want for your own especially those material “improvements.” That new car. That new pool.
Many financial gurus would say that there’s no point in doing this. Statistics have it that your typical neighbor is in debt and there’s no point keeping up with broke people unless you’d want to be broke as well.
If you’re the type who wants to keep up with neighbors, then why not switch games and do one better. Be richer than them. Instead of spending on material goods that aren’t exactly assets (they depreciate), opt to put your money where it can grow.
Outsave and outinvest the Joneses!
Take comfort in the fact that you have more money in the bank and more investments stashed away. They might be lounging in their new pool but at least you can have that smug look that your family’s finances are secure and you’re on the way for a more comfortable life ahead.