Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Keep up with Yourself!!!

“Keeping up with the Joneses?”
By: Nicole Little

Some may say that the quote, “Keeping up with the Joneses" is a popular saying in many parts of the USA. The quote is often referred to as the desire to keep up with one's neighbors or friends by using the accumulation of material goods. We have even heard the phrase during the world renowned television show, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Co-star NeNe says, “I don’t keep up with the Joneses, I am the Joneses.”

So why are people so focused on keeping up with the “Joneses?” Has celebs really tarnished the minds of the everyday American? I’m thinking so. To keep up with consumer demands banks started giving people loans that couldn’t afford to pay them back. First time home buyers began purchasing houses that were far beyond their budget. Budget? I think so many people have forgotten about that word. Instead of buying things that are affordable people have opted for buying things that look more appealing to their friends, family, co-workers and or associates. Well, I guess now we all are paying for Mrs. Brown trying to be Mrs. Jones. According to the Federal Reserve, over 40% of households spend more than they earn. Americas' average credit card debt in 2007 was $8400 per household. By the end of 2007, consumer debt in America had risen to $2.5 trillion. The year 2008 brought so much heartache to many Americans. They began to loose their jobs, houses, cars, and etc. Un-employment lines became longer and food banks became crowded. Prominent businesses began to close and major corporations began to fold. Could it be that we were trying to live like the “Joneses?”

In college all of my needs and wants were pretty much taken care of by mommy and daddy. If I wanted a new dress for that jumping party all I had to do was call home. If my Acura Integra needed an oil change all I had to do was call home. If I needed groceries for my apartment all I had to do was call home. But, I still chose to open up credit cards to purchase items that I truly did not need. I guess I wanted to be a “Jones.”
Right before graduation I told my parents that I was going to move back home. Yes, move back home. Instead of purchasing a brand new car or get a place of my own I wanted to save and pay off all credit card debt. Soon after I got out of college I realized that mommy and daddy were not always going to be able to hold my hand and supply my every need. I had to work hard and come up with a game plan so one day I would be able to supply a comfortable life for me and my family. When I say comfortable I mean having the big house, nice car, nice clothes, being able to travel and still being able to save and invest my money.

The Mercedes, big house on the hill, fur coat, and diamond necklace will always be there to buy. But, our sanity and happiness will be sacrificed if we try to buy expensive items prematurely. I don’t know about you but I will get all that and more but I’ll assure you that I won’t be in any debt because of those items. I refuse to keep up with “Joneses.” So, in 2009 instead of “keeping up with the Joneses” I’m going to keep up with myself. What will you do?


  1. Hello World....this is my very own blog site...please leave comments as you please...thanks very much and have a blessed year and remember to keep up with yourself before you try to "Keep up with the Joneses."

  2. I like this posting! Its very true we all care a little too much about what others think and having the best things out there. And now we all have to suffer these bad economic times. Hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel and we will all take this as a lesson learned.

  3. I think you make a lot of good points and yes we spend most our time trying to keep up with each other and some of us go to far doing that and other just want the nice things the next person has but won't go to far trying to get it so I ask you when is it a good thing to try to keep up with the joneses and when is it not?

  4. Well i dont think that it is ever a good thing to keep up with the joneses. I think you should always be yourself and keep up with yourself. I think there is a time and season for everyone. There is a time to save and there is a time to spend, shop and Everything should be done in moderation and you should never go into debt from trying to look nice or keep UP. Remember to "Keep up with Yourself."