It’s a concept I don’t really understand. I don’t care what others have that I don’t have.
Your friend Jones buys a new car. It’s a bit of a luxury car. You, Smith, feel a little jealous because it’s a much nicer car than you have. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your car, but you now want a new one. Do you stop and think about what the payment is for their nice, new car? Most Smiths do not. They go to the dealer and look at cars. In the end, here you come driving down the street in a car that is the same as Jones’ or more luxurious. You didn’t have the money in the bank to buy it, so it’s financed and you’re deeper in debt. Ka-Ching!
There’s a get together of Joneses and Smiths. The Joneses are all wearing designer clothes. Suddenly, the nice clothes you always wear don’t seem good enough. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re not ripped or stained or have holes in them, they just aren’t designer. The next day, you’re off to the mall to buy some designer clothes so you can keep up appearances. You put it on your credit card, but you can’t pay it off at the end of the month. Ka-Ching!
You want a ring/necklace/earrings/cuff links/watch for you birthday or Christmas or just because you and your significant other had a fight. Your significant other buys them. Again, there’s no cash so it goes on the credit card. And there sits all that jewelry in the jewelry box because you couldn’t possibly wear it all at once. But, it’s really necessary to have a separate set of jewelry to match every designer outfit, isn’t it? Ka Ching!
Jones picks up the bill when they invite you out to a restaurant. You really can’t afford to, but soon you reciprocate. With a much more expensive restaurant so they don’t think you’re cheap. After all, there’s plastic in your wallet and you can’t invite them over for a home cooked meal and good conversation. What would they think? Ka-Ching!
It’s hard to tell if Smith wants the item because they really want it, or because they feel owning it makes them superior to those that don’t have it. Or, at least makes them equal to those that do have it.
How it looks to others is Smiths’ biggest concerns. They don’t want Jones to think they can’t afford this or that, when in reality, they’re in debt up to their ears trying to keep up, not realising that Jones is probably in debt the same way!
I just don’t get it.