Keeping up with the Joneses

by - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I live in a city where keeping up with the Joneses is seemingly everyone's favourite pastimes.

It seems to be all about the Louis Vuitton handbags, BMWs, granite countertops and travelling the world. 

But I wonder who out of all of these Joneses can really afford it?

There was a story on the Global TV this week that 48% of Canadians were within $200 of not being able to pay their monthly financial obligations, and that a rise in interest rates could cripple them.

I see that 48% being from two very different groups - those working poor, that budget their money to the penny (well nickle, Canada doesn't have pennies anymore), and those that have made the decision to live far beyond their means, and now may have to pay (literally) for it.

Just because someone is approved for a $700K mortgage, doesn't mean that they have to spend that much.  Just because someone wants a $250 pair of Blundstones, doesn't mean they need them.  Just because someone wants a $50K (bottom of the line, so they're really just paying for the name anyways) BMW, doesn't mean they should buy it.

Spending within your means will mean that if/when interest rates go up, you won't be bankrupted.  It means that you can save for the special things you want, or to pay for the experiences you want to enjoy.

But living within $200 of not being able make your monthly debt obligations for those making a decent living, is ridiculous.

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.  The sympathy I have for someone making double what I do complaining that they are house poor sits somewhere between slim and none.  

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