Discussion Question Unit (2) – Keeping up with the Joneses

The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” means that you’re striving to achieve or own as much the people around you. “If you want to keep up with Joneses, you must own three cars.” This statement means that you aren’t keeping up with Joneses unless you have expensive things, and live an expensive life style of the rich and famous. The phrase “living within your means” simply means that you are being realistic about your money situation and only spending what you can afford and have. People living within your means can pay for things they need and even set aside money to save at the end of the day without getting overwhelmed with debt. This day in time people think in order to own nice things, you have to be in extreme debt to get them which isn’t a smart financial decision. For example, when buying a house and taking out a mortgage, it is possible you will be in debt for the next 30 years. Although, this debt can be beneficial to you because equity and the amount of money put into your home can raise the total value, also making a regular mortgage payment helps you build a strong credit rating. However, those who are using their credit cards for fancy, expensive purchases can be driving themselves into unnecessary debt by buying nonessential things they really can’t afford. These phrases contradict each other because they are total opposite. Keeping up with the Joneses is spending large amounts of money and doing anything (possibly even maxing out your credit card) just to have expensive nice things and living within in your means is only spending the money you have and afford. People make the mistake of living a lifestyle they really can’t afford, only hurting their financial future in the end. Advice I would give about these phrases would to be to spend responsibility and realistically. Financial decisions now affect your future greatly and being stuck with outrageous amounts of debt can be difficult to get out of when you have gone too far.

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