Not only do I not give a hoot about keeping up with the Joneses, I would like to start a movement of the Un-Joneses. I want to influence people to look at my life and decide that they want to spend less not more. Wanna join me? I hope so.
How can we do this? We can speak truthfully about our financial mistakes with those around us. Whatever financial lessons you have learned the hard way, take the time and make the effort tell someone. Let’s make an active effort to save each other money. Here are some of those financial lessons that I want to share with others:
More House Than We Need: If my husband and I had it to do over again, we would buy a smaller house with a natural yard in a neighborhood with sidewalks. Why? We hate to clean and do yard work, but we love to walk. This was our first house, so even after all of our research, we still had no idea what we were doing. We bought this much house (2,200 square feet) because we loved the location and we wanted to have room for visiting relatives. We have since realized that we have a lot of house to clean while we have relatively few overnight visitors.
Having Children – Think IF not WHEN: My husband and I decided not to be parents. I guess that’s why some parents feel safe telling us that if they had it to do over again, they would not have children. This is a truth worth telling! Please, if you feel this way, share it. Not in front of your children, of course, and not with anyone who would betray your confidence. But, I think many people need to have permission to let go of the idea of being a parent. We didn’t make this decision for financial reasons, but it is certainly a financial hardship for many people who have children without ever giving it much thought.
The Big Expensive All Out Vacation To The All Inclusive Resort: If it sucked, tell the truth. Be a good Mr. or Ms. Un-Jones and save your friends the trouble of emulating your behavior. Don’t brag about how wonderful it was just because it cost $5,000. If you spent the entire week on the toilet of your prison cell sized hotel room processing the twenty four hour buffet, please don’t lie and say it was the best vacation of your life.
The Overpriced Wedding: If you now realize that you would have been just as married – and just as happy – with a low key ceremony at a friend’s lake house, tell someone. That young friend of yours who is suffering from eyestrain from choosing the font for her expensive wedding invitations, tell her the truth.
The Lonely Motor Boat: How many of you own a lonely motor boat? Of the three people I know who have bought boats in the last five years, only one of them used it more than 10 times in the first year he owned it. Five years later, one of them is selling his boat and the other two aren’t selling theirs yet, but they aren’t using them either. All three of these boats cost in the five digits. If you add that to the interest paid, repair and maintenance costs, marina storage costs, and gasoline, the cost per use of each boat must be astronomical. If this is you, please tell someone who is drooling down the isles at the local boat show. Tell him or her your story and save them some money.
Let’s make this Un-Joneses movement a national phenomena and reverse the tendency to over-indulge while we under-enjoy our limited time on this earth.
Image courtesy of nycangel78