Keeping up with the Kardashians or other celebrities by copying their lifestyles is not affordable and can lead to financial trouble.
Young people often compare themselves to celebrities or influencers in terms of houses, cars and clothing but that all leads to unnecessary financial pressure and the reality is we can’t have it all.
“When envy and that competitive spirit lead to copying and spending money that we don’t have so that we can also look as prosperous as others in our circle, the truth hits home.
“We may have the status symbols we crave, but they come with financial stress and worry, ” says John Manyike, head of financial education at Old Mutual.
Instead of spending hours comparing your finances to those of others, resist the urge to copy them.
1. People realise that comparison leads to more spending. Research done in the USA in 2019 found that 48% of millennials had got into debt trying to keep up with friends. This trend could also be valid for South Africans.
2. Ask yourself whether competing and copying someone else’s lifestyle will get you to long-term financial security or result in temporary satisfaction with debt.
3. Stick to your lane while appreciating and understanding that you have your unique journey.
4. Rather spending money on what you want, buy the things that you really need. Wants often become more important than needs when you compare your lifestyle to the lifestyle of others.
5. Use your time to set your own financial goals and plan how to achieve them. This involves:
- Setting short, medium and long-term financial goals and getting the professional advice like a personal financial planner on how achieve them.
- Draw up a budget that is focused on setting aside money every month for savings and investments.
- Reducing and paying off debt and looking at each payment made as another achievement on the road to future financial wellness.
“Stopping the comparison, competition and copying habit will empower you and set you free. Educate yourself about money and build a positive future,” Manyike says