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2: Keeping up with Yourself (Not "The Joneses")

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

1) Contemplate the stakes. If you’ve bought a home or car that’s too much to handle or if you’ve borrowed money to go to a school you can’t afford - think again. Find alternatives. Pushing your finances could result in feelings of instability, frustration and even losing a partner.

2) Financial pressure affects all income earners. Don’t be mistaken! You don’t know what happens behind closed doors. Everyone has pressure - just to varying degrees.

3) Start by paying off all debt. Before you make any decisions, be free and clear. Don’t take more on without cleaning up first.

4) FI/RE movement. The financial independence and early retirement movement. Consider driving an older vehicle for a longer period of time or commuting by bike/public transportation, choosing cheaper a place to live and save 30% or 50% or 70% of your income instead of the standard 8%.

5) Surround yourself with people you want to emulate. Make sure those whom you trust and are closest to make good choices. You don’t want to be influenced by those living outside their means.

6) You won’t be any happier running with societal pressure. You’ll never say, “Ok, I did it, I’m done. I’m sated.” There’s always going to be someone or some trend you’re trying to equate to if you succumb to keep up with a fictitious standard. If you fall prey to keep up with “The Joneses,” the desire to acquire more and more will never go away.

TIPS: Shop for new (less expensive) insurance. Buy used cars, clothes, household items. Choose low-cost experiences, travel during shoulder seasons and embrace DIY projects.

1) Rollerskating inside your house is free.

2) Corn Nuts are in a food group all their own. Have them readily available to serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

3) Boy, I love a good swap meet and a snow cone.

4) It’s better to have a ladies’ bathing suit with old fashioned telephones and monkeys decorated all over it than not.

5) You can’t spell peanut butter without pea and butt.

Share your experiences of being a Fiscal Firecracker with your friends and family. You’ll be the one they start to emulate!

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