Everyone knows about the Joneses. Your next door neighbours are probably the Joneses. They are everywhere – in every neighbourhood. In every school. They are even in your place of work.
The Joneses are the lovely couple that you can’t help but keep up with. You see them leave home in their luxury cars. On weekends, you see them hosting a backyard BBQ with family and friends; the children frolicking in the swimming pool.
The kids are always brandishing the latest mobile phones and technology devices. They wear the latest fashion styles and accessories like watches. Everyone wants to be the Jones kids. They have thousands of followers in social media.
“No, they are not! Our next door neighbours are the Smiths!”
You see them as the Smiths. But in your mind, they are the Joneses.
You want their cars. You want that 2-tier, stainless steel charbroiler with the radiant oven. You want a pool to host backyard parties for the summer.
Your kids nag you to get the same mobile phones, devices, shoes, clothes, and watches as the Jones kids. They want to be cool in school like the Joneses.
You want to live the Joneses’ lifestyle. The problem is you can’t because you can’t afford it.
Trying to live like the Joneses’ is to live beyond your means.
People get into debt because they want to live a life they cannot afford. Their 9-to-5 occupation does not pay well enough to cover a car loan for a Mercedes. Not even a Prius.
Their monthly cash flow cannot afford monthly payments for a swimming pool or instalments for the latest mobile phones, watches, and fashion.
The money they make is just enough to cover monthly expenses for power, water, telephone, groceries, cable TV, and set aside some savings for tuition and maybe – just maybe – a family summer vacation.
When pushed over the edge, they resort to acquire the lifestyle through debt. So they borrow from wherever they can:
- Company Loan
- Salary Advances
- Credit Card
- Personal Loan
They come up with a cash flow projection and tell themselves, “All I need to do is put in the extra hours, get a side line job or get a side project to cover the extra expenses and I’m good.”
No you’re not because you probably won’t.
Life and work are unpredictable. You don’t know what is going to happen today, tomorrow or next month.
That is why you should always save and set aside money to cover contingencies.
If you are neck-deep in debt, you will leave yourself vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances:
- Medical Emergency
- A decline in business earnings
- A death in the family
- Serious illness that requires constant medication and treatments
If your present situation becomes adverse, you could lose everything if you are trapped in debt.
You will lose more than the shirt off your back.
You can lose your house.
You kids may have to transfer schools – to one that is more affordable.
The creditors will run after you. Haul you into court. If you can’t pay your taxes, the government can go after your savings.
Instead of acquiring debt, why not work harder?
- Put in the extra hours at work
- Get a side line job
- Get a side project
Leave the Joneses alone and stay out of debt.