Have you ever heard of the phrase "Keeping Up with the Joneses?"
Is this something you, or someone you know, might be trying to do?
It's really hard with all of the images in magazines at the checkout lanes, or ads we're served when scrolling through social media. Or even television shows we watch about redesigning our homes and making them even bigger and better than they already are.
There are so many ways this can affect us in our day-to-day lives.
Are we using the people we look up to as an inspiration for success or are we just trying to look and live their lifestyle at an expense we can't afford?
This is what we're going to talk about today because it's an important topic.
I'm also going to give you some tips on how to avoid those temptations.
So listen and please share this episode with friends.
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All right friends on today's episode of The Thrive Forward podcast, have you ever heard of the phrase Keeping Up with the Joneses? Have you ever, that maybe deep down inside that might be something you or someone you know in your life might be trying to do? It's really hard with all of the images that could throw in at us the magazines that we see at the checkout lanes when we're out shopping. The ads were served when we're scrolling show social media, or even the television shows that we watch all about redesigning our homes and making them even bigger and better than they already are. There are so many ways that this can affect us in our day to day lives. And what is it that is a healthy space for wanting to use other individuals as a measure or as an inspiration versus trying to live up to what it is that they have, while also putting us in a financial setback. So if you or someone you know, are thinking about this as a topic, subtopic something you don't want maybe anybody else to know that, you know,
maybe it's time for you to take action, maybe it's the time for you to hit that share button on the Apple Apple podcast, so that you can share this podcast, maybe it's time that you share this on social media, maybe it's not even you, but maybe it's somebody in your circle that might be affected by this message today, so that we can help others get to a space where they are also having a healthy relationship and thriving forward. Now, let's dig into the good stuff.
Alright, so my friends, this phrase Keeping Up with the Joneses, I want to classify a couple of things for you. Did you know that the Joneses might have purchased everything on credit and you have no idea what their actual cash balance sheet, financial statements or net worth actually really looks like? You see, we live in a culture where we can swipe a card and have what we want with instant gratification, but then worry about it later, in terms of a financial standpoint, or even put it off so that what costs us $30 When we swap swiped our card now costs us $60 Because of interest. That is something that we don't ever so lightly consider when we are out there. Look, there are lots of messages out there in the social media world or even in the boardroom that tell us what should we look like, I'm going to share a short, short short story with you. Because you know, if you listen to the Thrive Forum Podcast, I love me some stories. So I was 27 years old when I had my fourth first seat in a boardroom 27. And I'm very honored to be in that space and the honored at the opportunity. And also the youngest person sitting at the table. I still had student loans. I had credit card debt for my wedding that I thought that I was supposed to have this big, luxurious, beautiful thing for all of the people in our lives. When in reality, if I could redo it would be like me and my best friend and her husband on a beach drinking pina coladas in shorts and bathing suits, and laughing and dancing our socks off. That being said, I didn't do that. I was at a financially different stage. And the people around the table were 10 years my senior, they had many more years of experience. But did they always make the right financial decisions, they were driving fancy cars, they were going out to dinner, they had Country Club memberships, they had nannies and stay at home wives.
I didn't have that.
I all of a sudden had my own issue with money, thinking I had to be in this space to live up to everybody else that was at that space. Because I was good at my job and what I did and had advanced and taken on those leadership opportunities. All of a sudden I was stuck in this place where I felt like I had to fit in or prove myself that I was supposed to be at that table. What did I look like on the outside? Was I getting my hair done? My nails done? What kind of suit was I wearing? What kind of bag was I carrying? What did my shoes look like don't want any scuffs on them. I was walking into a board room with a big marble table on the 10th floor of a fancy building in down town.
The little girl in me was so so so excited to be in that space. But yet so afraid to fit in this little girl Southside Minneapolis that grew up in a one bedroom apartment with her mom, and then moved in with her grandfather for the first time seeing a house and a yard. And the magic appreciation of just that had landed herself a seat at a boardroom. A few
MC boardroom in an executive space.
What to do now, so many of us find ourselves in those spaces. And so many of us as women find ourselves in those spaces, and don't know how to juggle all of the things that are being thrown at us not to mention, I was a new mom, I had a baby and one on the way. And I had no idea what I was doing.
No idea I was trying to fit in, I was trying to get to a space where I really felt comfortable in my own skin and what I was doing.
And for me, I made decisions that maybe weren't the best for me, I rewarded myself in ways that rewarded somebody else on the outside, but weren't what I really wanted on the inside. And I started that journey with myself on how do I get to a place that has a healthy relationship. And that's what we're going to talk about today, we get so many images pushed into our heads on a day to day basis. And I see clients who come to me that no matter where they live, they're struggling with where do I fit in.
And so looking outside to people around us to define, maybe this is what I should be doing. Maybe this is where I should be going, maybe this is how I should be sent bendy. And maybe this is how I should be investing. There's a lot of people out there giving you lots of opinions, including myself on this podcast as you listen. But I hope that this is something that is going to provide you a healthy balance of the information that you receive.
Yes, of course, as we talked on our last episode of the podcast, we want you to thrive, we want you to enjoy your life, at the expense of what credit card debt is at a national high. Because we swipe this card to think we have the basis to spend the thing. And because Johnny needs a new hockey stick, or Johnny needs to be able to go on the spring break trip with his friends, so he doesn't feel left out. Meanwhile,
everyone is racking up expenses, and not saving to a space. That actually makes sense.
Just because everybody else is doing it doesn't mean you have to do it. See, I also went to private school, but I was what you refer to as a scholarship kid. I didn't have everything that everybody else had, I hung out with the rest of my friends who also didn't. And there were many of us because we were in inner city Catholic schools. So it wasn't like there were, you know, a lot of families who were very well off. And then some that weren't. I have friends that went to school like that, too. We had a different experience. But at the same time, I didn't have spring break trips, one of my best girlfriends went to Mexico every year with her family. The first time I ever flew on a plane was when I was 18. And I had to work to get my ticket to go on my cheerleading trip with my team that year.
And for me, I think sometimes we need to sit back and reflect and understand what are we teaching this next generation and those to come if we constantly think that we have to have everything today, versus establishing some of that desire to save for tomorrow. So when you think about all of the image, the images that come into us, so many times I see this also with my husband's clients, he works in real estate. And when they come to the table, they have unrealistic expectations sometimes of what it is that they want to buy in a house and what they can actually afford. And what you get approved for on the mortgage side of things is very different than what you can actually purchase. And so how do you make sure what you're doing is the best thing for yourself going forward. And I think what we have to dial back and think about is who am I doing this for? And how is it going to impact them?
And how's it going to impact me?
If it's going to be impact either one of us is negative fashion, we should probably think about ourselves first. I'm literally telling you to be selfish. Yes, I understand that. But at the end of the day, if you don't start to think about your own finances versus somebody else's.
Then that's just you can't do everything that everybody else does a I will start with a society full power. We don't even talk about what we make except for we talk about what we spend all the time. And so then we have these realistic unrealistic expectations of going
To out to dinner with our friends and having this fancy meal when one of us around the table might not actually be able to afford it.
But we don't talk about what we make. We talk about what we spend.
Oh, my goodness, I couldn't believe this cost that much money. You know what I've always said, and somebody told me once, like, don't take this, don't say that. That's such a faux pas. Just take the compliment. Every time somebody tells me, Shannon, that's a nice outfit, or where did you get that? That's great. If I got it on a deal, which I normally try to score things on in bed, do I literally tell the entire world? Oh, do you want to know where I got this? What I got it for? It was this price. And I got it for this. So many times we are hit with this element that we have to have the name brand of everything that we that we in order to be classified as something great have to have the name attached to it. My grandfather who worked in in radio, and had to deal with advertisement for a longest time when I was growing up in the 90s of course Tommy Hilfiger sports, you know, sports teams were really big.
By rock to FUBU. Jersey all the time. Yes. Don't make fun of me about it. But we had all this branding that we wore across our chest. And my grandfather used to always tell me like, What are you a walking billboard for them? Are they sending you royalty checks? And I just like it didn't click for me then I was like, But Grandpa, this is what's cool. And now it completely clicks. For me. It doesn't mean that every once in a while I don't love wearing something nice. Of course I do. Everybody likes to but at the end of the day, is it worth it? So for me, and for my household, we put together our priorities, not everybody else's worldly priorities, looking in and reflecting. The reason why so often we want to live up to the Joneses is because we think the Joneses have it better than us. We don't know what happens behind closed doors. But we do know what happens in our house behind our closed doors. And so what is it that we need to be doing differently within our home, versus comparing it to somebody else, comparing it to that social media icon that we look up to that posts these beautiful pictures of their homes, and their trips that they go on. And I can't you know, like I follow a couple of Instagram accounts. I'm just like, casually on social media, and it's not fun for Instagram. But this is just saying like, I follow them. And it's about, like, literally telling you how it how much an influencer would try to take a perfect photo just to show you it's perfect. But really, it takes like two hours to do it sometimes, or what their bodies actually look like we're always constantly comparing ourselves to something rather than being happy with what we have. And I say this to my girls, I say this to clients I work with, I say this to friends, if you want something, you have to first be grateful for what it is that you have are ready. My life is so full of abundance because I am so greatly appreciative of what it is that I have. And I frickin work my butt off to be able to have what I have. So it isn't that I'm constantly going around the world traveling all over the place nice fancies locations and taking pictures of my laptop telling you that I have this great flexible work life. But I do I have a great flexible work life. Could I travel all over the world if I wanted to? Sure I have other financial responsibilities though. I have a family to take care of I have parents who financially need me, or maybe me someday, I have people that that need me. And so I don't get to live in a space that allows me all of these abundant trips all over creation. Sure. I have a friend of mine who's really good at like scoring points and doing all those things that feels like a part time job. And that individual does not have children, and does not have the same responsibilities as I do. Maybe I can pay them to do that. As I've said before, maybe it's an opportunity for me to think about investing and having somebody else do that for me. But the reality is, I've stopped trying to look at everybody else's life and look at what I'm grateful for in my life. What are the things that are important to me? What is that vision that I want? Because that house, that car, that lifestyle, those trips, those clothes, that handbag, those shoes, all of those things that somebody else has? What? What if you had it? Would you still be hole?
Is it something that you actually truly do need? Or are you trying to fill a void
of something that you haven't actually dealt with?
I've seen so many times where people come to me and know my friends. This is not just 20 Something
millennial Gen Z problems I see Gen Xers I see baby boomers who are suffering from the same exact fitting in mentality. We cannot blame it on generation. We have to look inside ourselves and understand more fully. What is it that I was taught whether the stories that I'm receiving was the messaging I'm receiving? What are the things that I'm really trying to tell myself? I think I need but I don't really need.
If you need travel, that's fantastic. Some people do actually need travel in their lives. How are you prioritizing that with everything else.
The the average American cannot afford to go on a vacation every quarter, have a fancy car, have a $550,000 mortgage, have the fanciest organic food on the table, and the fanciest clothing name brand, super fashionable, always on trend clothing, and then have their kids dressed to the nines. And oh, by the way, every quarter have beautiful fight family portraits that are taken and then customized into Canvas pro pro pro photos that are put on your wall, and a you know, professional chef and a personal trainer and a interior designer and a landscaper and a gardener and all of those things. The average American cannot do that. So why are you comparing yourself to somebody that can.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't want those things if you truly desire them.
And I'm not saying that it isn't possible. But the way they did, it isn't the way you are going to do it. I also have plenty of clients who live fantastically amazing lives and do all the things that they want to do, and haven't had to sacrifice that much to be able to do it. It's just being able to identify what their priorities are to get them to the place that they want to go. And then enjoying every step along the way. And understanding that when life happens, it happens for them and not to them.
And yes, that sucks. Because some of those things that happen for us are really shitty, excuse my French, but they're horrible. And it isn't necessarily what we want to happen. But if we have a greater vision of the things that we want to do, we're able to push ourselves through and motivate ourselves to get to that place. A dear friend of mine told me they didn't want to stop working going through a battle they're going through right now because they wanted the motivation to get through to that. That person is aspirational, not giving up. when shit gets hard.
No matter how much they want to they're still pushing forward. So I guess how does that relate back to we want the flashy without the actual work that it takes to get to that place. So often I hear from individuals who are like, how do I get rich? What stock should I buy? Should I buy into cryptocurrency? Should I buy into all these other things that people are telling me about that I should buy in? Should I do day trading? Should I do all these things? First of all my friends, all these things that are happening all over the internet might, some of them might work for you. Some of them are very complex, and some of them are incredibly risky. And without having full knowledge and full expertise into understanding each and every nook and cranny into them is not something you should put your whole life savings into.
Look, I'm all about being able to align yourself and have your net worth grow and have your investments grow and be able to have multiple streams of income and all of the buzzwords everybody's out there saying to you. But the reality is my job can be completely eliminated.
If everybody spent last and saved more to get to the aspect of being able to spend the things on the things that they wanted.
But too often do I see people in a space where they maybe have been making really good money and spend spend spend it and then life happens and all of a sudden, they got to put up a GoFundMe for their family because they can't get the neat things that they need. Now, hear me out there are plenty of great gofund me's and people that actually really need it and those people that need it.
And there are people that could have planned better.
And I don't want you to be that person. You don't want you to be the person that could have planned better.
Let's use the opportunities to help the other people to get to a place
where they need to be. But let's also help ourselves by getting to the place that you need to be. And be real with yourself around your money, about around what you need to be able to do to get to the place that you want to go.
Just because it flashes to you in an advertisement, and just because you walk into a friend's house, and see what they have, and want that so desperately for yourself, what are you willing to sacrifice to get to that place so that you aren't taking out more credit card debt? Just to get to the place that you think you're supposed to be at? To prove yourself to somebody else?
How do we prioritize those things more.
On today's episode, we are going to take a quick pause so that we can highlight one of our great nonprofits in the Twin Cities that we are highlighting throughout the year. And this March, we are highlighting the center of economic inclusion, which is a local nonprofit working in the areas of public and private sectors to strengthen the Minneapolis and St. Paul region's civic infrastructure and collective capacity to disrupt systems and influence markets. In order to provide capitalistic shared prosperity and the advancement of an inclusive economy. The center is the nation's first organization exclusively dedicated to advancing economic inclusion across all sectors in a major metropolitan area. If you would like to find out more about the center of economic inclusion, please go to www dot center for economic inclusion dot fork.
So I'm going to talk to you a little bit about some of the things that you should do. First of all, you need to take a gut check a really, really good gut check, you need to understand where is it that your net worth sits? And your net worth is what do you owe? And what do you own
difference between the E and N? The N is the stuff that you actually get to keep, because you own it. The E is something you got to pay to somebody else in order to keep it you're borrowing it.
Maybe it's student loans, maybe it's credit card debt, maybe it's a boat loan, maybe it's a cabin loan, maybe it's a mortgage, maybe it's a fancy second vehicle, maybe it's a sports car, maybe it's you name it.
Not saying that you can't have those things. It's saying how do you do it in a way that makes sense? And that isn't living it up to somebody else's lifestyle? I heard once from somebody that you had to spend money to make money?
Do you have a plan to get that money back in order to make that money?
I'm all about money being energy. And for my financial advisors and financial industry, people that probably think I'm very woowoo Yes, money can be energy, and we have to put that energy out there. So yes, sometimes we do have to spend money to make money, sometimes we have to give money to receive money as well. That being said, at what cost for yourself
so that you're live on a budget with ramen noodles, so you never get to do the things that you want to be able to do because you're throwing money at places that don't actually really matter, but look flashy to the outside world.
What looks like on the outside isn't necessarily what it is on the inside. So you need to gut check yourself. What are the specific things that you owe?
What are the credit card balances that you have? What are you spending every single month? Do you have a car payment, a mortgage? Any other kind of personal loan, a home equity against your house, a second mortgage? A second property? Second vehicles, student loans, what are all those things that you owe money on? And then what is it that you own? What are the properties that you actually own? What are the vehicles that you actually own?
How long is it till you pay something off? What are those payments look like? How does that fit with the amount of money that you have coming in? Are you able to save 20% of your income? I also had someone say to me
just a few weeks ago
I was taught that I always had to save 50% And if I didn't have 50% Then how could I save anything? And I was at a point where I didn't have 50% So I didn't save anything.
Whatever number it is, how are you saving something
And for those of you who are high income earners, and sitting in those boardrooms, and collecting those paychecks, and sitting on restricted stock and stock options, and in a room full of people driving fancy cars,
and making six plus figures, maybe even seven, what is it that you are doing to make sure that you are still saving for yourself, and you're strategizing on your wealth, so it doesn't have to look cookie cutter, or misplaced cookie cutters, like everyone else.
You see, the Joneses might have really good cookies that they post on social media, but they might have bought them.
Or their, you know, Chef might have made them.
But at the end of the day, what's happening on their balance sheet, and what's happening in their heart.
A lot of times we feel like spending that money is going to replace something for us, when it really is just a bandaid over actually doing the work that we need to do. So gut check yourself from Why are you making those expenses? To what is it that I am spending? The next piece is how do you have somebody that holds you accountable? Well, perhaps it's your partner, maybe you two need to sit down and have a conversation and get on the same page. Perhaps you hire a financial therapist to help work through some of the things that you're working through. And maybe it's about time that you hired a financial planner to get into that space of really planning forward and holding you accountable to the things that you want to do. Ultimately, you need to be the one that makes that decision. Are you going to make the decision to Thrive Forward on your path? Or are you going to try to copy and paste the Joneses path to try it fit into your space?
My friend I encourage you to write your own path, your own story and do it in a way that is healthy for you because you are worthy of wealth.
The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of forethought planning advisors pide, or LPL. Financial all investing involves risk including loss of principle, no strategy assures success or protects against loss securities are offered through LPL Financial and member of FINRA and SIPC advisory services offered through advisors pride and SEC registered investment advisor LPL Financial Advisors pride forethought planning and the guests of the Thrive Forward podcast are separate and unaffiliated parties
Transcribed by https://otter.ai