I'm sure we have all heard the term "keeping up with the Joneses" and lately I am finding that this is falling into my life more and more and I have to remind myself that it is okay to NOT keep up as well.
Recent topic among my circle of friends has been about house prices, since a friend has listed their house and is planning to move. Mostly I sit back and listen to the others and their stories of what they paid for their first house, and even how a few of them still own that house and have renters now. I'm just baffled at how much gain there is in their homes now. Next thing I know a friend pipes up, “you know, you really have to feel bad for anyone just starting out now; how on earth does anyone have the money to buy a house. They keep talking about it on the news about how young couples are buying these houses they can hardly afford."
I just sat there for a minute, and suddenly it becomes very apparent to them that I myself am likely in that situation. The majority of the friends I spend my time with are ten years older than I am. And while that usually goes unnoticed, sometimes it becomes as visible as white on black. Everyone is talking about their Kitchen Aid mixers and their Kreiug (Tassimo) coffee makers and I'm sitting there going "I WANT ONE TOO!!!" I feel like a little kid at the birthday party allergic to the cake having to sit and watch everyone else enjoy theirs. And then I stop and say to myself, "I'm twenty three.... they didn't have those things at twenty three either, they are thirty three getting them now." Does that mean that I have to wait ten years before I can finally get a Kitchen Aid mixer? Probably not, but I do know that it’s not in the cards right now. I have to remember to be frugal where I need to be. Had I gone out and bought a mixer last week when they were on sale, I would not have been able to go out this week and buy much need clothing for my kids. I constantly have to remind myself of priorities.
What I do have to remind myself is that those friends of mine don't care if I have a Kitchen Aid or a Tassimo. In fact they tell me that they are baffled by the fact that I am twenty three and how "together" I am for my age, that when they were twenty three they were working just to pay for going out to the bar on the weekend. Hearing that does make me feel better. It seems so silly that all I can think about it is how I wish I were ten years older so that I maybe would have been able to buy a house for a lot less than they go for now, so that I could get those little luxuries. Most people complain about getting older and here I am thinking I'm not old enough!
post written February 14 2011 moved from previous blog