Stop Keeping Up With The Joneses!

Downsizing and Jobless

I have recently seen the movie “The Company Men” starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and and Chris Cooper. Seeing the movie was not my choice as I was on a horrible flight with United Airlines and needed to stay awake. I have never flown with United before but OMG the flight attendants were rude. If you hate your job please quit. You’ll be happier, your coworkers will be happier and the passengers will be happier.

I thought the movie was horrible! I also really don’t like Ben Affleck so maybe that’s what ruined it for me. The subject of downsizing and people loosing their jobs is a very difficult one to tackle. I did like that the movie showed that many families live beyond their means. Don’t get me wrong I love new clothes, fancy computers ( I just bought myself a new Macbook air), and traveling but I try not to live beyond my means. Ben Affleck’s character was making $110K/year when he lost his job. After just a few months of being unemployed he was offered a job but he declined it. The job offer was $60K/year so yes it was a lot less then what he was making but why not take the job and continue to look out for a better opportunity. He ended up being unemployed for almost one year. He almost lost his house, he did lose his car and his kids had to deal with a not so happy dad. The kicker is that he ended up taking a job that offered him $80k/year. His family didn’t have to go through that painful year if he just took a job to at least pay the bills but his ego got in the way.

Budget

I think people don’t know what having a budget means anymore. Credit cards and personal loans are not making things easier. Before my boyfriend and I decided to both work remotely, so we would be able to continue to travel, we made sure that we had no debt. I had a hefty school loan, a personal loan and credit cards that were weighing me down. I made a conscious decision to cut back and pay them all off. I really really hated that a big portion of my paychecks went to paying of credit but once they were all payed off I felt so good. Cutting back wasn’t that hard. I just started to ask myself “do I really need this?” and “will it add value to my life?”.

Keeping of with the Joneses

Who the hell are the Joneses and why are people trying to keep up with them?! In the movie, Ben Affleck’s character refused to stop paying his golf club membership fees because he wanted to look successful and didn’t want his neighbors to see that he lost his job. Who cares what other people think? If he didn’t live paycheck to paycheck losing his job wouldn’t have been so life ending. His family bought a huge house that they couldn’t afford, went on vacations that were to extravagant, and let their jobs/paycheck and the dreaded Joneses control their lives.

At the End of the Day

Being a non-consumer isn’t popular but I don’t care. I want to surround myself with things that I need and can afford right now. I try to use things up, wear things out and make do or even live without sometimes. Life will still be great if you stop comparing yourself with everyone else. The worst part of it is that the Joneses are everywhere! You can’t hide from them so why not stop caring what they think. Find a job that you love, don’t work paycheck to paycheck, and make just enough money to make you happy.

Books

If you need help managing your finances check out these great books that can help you keep more of your paycheck:

Photo by: Tony Crider


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