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Conspicuous consumption lives on, as does keeping up with the Joneses. People want others to
believe they can afford more than their income allows them to. My philosophy is “Who cares about
the Joneses?” The only people you ultimately answer to are you and your family.
If my neighbor gets a new BMW, I don’t need to follow her. If she can afford it, then good for her. In
all likelihood, she can’t afford it. Much of the time, you’ll find she is just trying to keep up with the
neighbor on the other side of her house. We have seen the reality of this in the past few years as the
number of home foreclosures and car repossessions has increased astronomically.
The most important aspect of this principle is that you recognize there will always be people who
live better than you. And you should feel good for them. On the other hand, there will always be
people who can’t afford as much as you (though their purchases may make you think otherwise!).
Your goal is to be financially responsible now so that you can progressively increase your financial
standing in the future. Don’t be concerned with where you are financially in relation to others.

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