U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-12-2013, 08:45 AM
 
550 posts, read 790,909 times
Reputation: 434

Advertisements

Where do you fit within your neighbors and friends?

We moved a few months ago to our new town and like it so far. We fit the bill as an “average” family here; the town itself is statistically considered upper-middle class. But within the town, we happen to live in a much more affluent area. (Some neighbors are admirably filthy stinking rich.)

Our house serves our purposes well and is neither too big nor too small; one of our cars is six years ago, completely paid for and we plan to run it into the ground; we work hard; and we try living below our means (but admittedly, we’ll splurge here and there).

We are where we are because the education system is top-notch. As a matter of fact, my daughter who recently started Kindergarten has already told us how happy she is in her new school. But I’m afraid that, as much as we say that we won’t cave into “keeping up with the Joneses”, I wonder how realistic this will be.

Thoughts?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-12-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,806 posts, read 3,043,290 times
Reputation: 4790
Quote:
Originally Posted by stradivarius View Post
But I’m afraid that, as much as we say that we won’t cave into “keeping up with the Joneses”, I wonder how realistic this will be.

Thoughts?
What does this mean? If you see the neighbors get a new pool, you'll feel obligated to do the same?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
2,756 posts, read 5,325,202 times
Reputation: 2696
Quote:
Originally Posted by stradivarius View Post
Where do you fit within your neighbors and friends?

We moved a few months ago to our new town and like it so far. We fit the bill as an “average” family here; the town itself is statistically considered upper-middle class. But within the town, we happen to live in a much more affluent area. (Some neighbors are admirably filthy stinking rich.)

Our house serves our purposes well and is neither too big nor too small; one of our cars is six years ago, completely paid for and we plan to run it into the ground; we work hard; and we try living below our means (but admittedly, we’ll splurge here and there).

We are where we are because the education system is top-notch. As a matter of fact, my daughter who recently started Kindergarten has already told us how happy she is in her new school. But I’m afraid that, as much as we say that we won’t cave into “keeping up with the Joneses”, I wonder how realistic this will be.

Thoughts?
Honestly, and just my opinion, if you are there so your daughter can get a quality education, that's all that matters. It's an investment in her future which will benefit her. If your neighbors want to buy toys and flaunt wealth, let them. Nothing wrong with a splurge here and there but to spend money for the sake of impressing others will only get you into a hole. Save and spend wisley, and you will PASS UP the "Joneses" in more ways than one. You know, a good splurge would be a trip overseas and your family will gain something meaningful from it. Doesn't have to cost a fortune either.

Plus, I personally don't care to have friends who are materialistic of judge us by what we have or don't have. I have a 10 year old car and plan to drive it to the end, NO car payments and my wife and I don't have expensive stuff.

Just my .02

Last edited by Gil3; 09-12-2013 at 10:18 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 10:30 AM
 
5,340 posts, read 5,306,395 times
Reputation: 12494
I'm in an upper middle class neighborhood but the Joneses don't give a hoot if I keep up with them, and I don't give a hoot if they keep up with me. Meaning that the neighborhood is decidedly down to earth, even if most have an OK amt of disposable income. Some have luxury cars, others do not. Personally, it gives me more satisfaction to save than spend, and I'm not into things like luxury cars so my $ goes towards other things that bring me enjoyment.

Bottom line is that I wouldn't choose an area which keeping up with the Joneses was a question or where the neighbors thought less of me if my pool was above ground. My brother on the other hand did choose an area like that, on purpose - it makes him feel good to drive his Lexus SUV. And hey, I must admit it's fun being in it at the time but I personally am more of a down to earth, less materialistic, minimalist type person in real life. Others enjoy it so whatev...sei la vie.

Congratulations on getting to your utpoia and it's clear you are proud of yourself (and a bit boastful). Caving in as you say is up to you, nobody can make you do anything. Your thoughts, feelings, actions, and decisions are your own. How realistic it is depends on you and your orientation towards your peers and the society in which you function. With the few wrods you wrote it sounds like you want to cave, that you want to be accepted into the area as a person to be admired and that people have a high opinion of. Of course you can do that without a Cadillac but maybe your area is one that your daughter won't get invited to play dates unless the parents smell of latest and greatest eau de toilette. I know it's where many people aspire to be in life but I don't want to raise my kid in that type of waspy world where people dine at a distance from one another.

Here's the kicker - even though I am me and don't feel pressure to keep up with people, I know that if I were in an area that wasn't as down to earth as the one I am in now, when my kid grows up I will feel that pressure because he hill and I am much more likely to make sure he gets what he needs than how the Jonese feel. So my thought to you is that as your daughter ages, she will be the one to exert the pressure on you to keep up because she'll feel inadequate next to the other kids. So start saving for your girl's Mercedes now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 11:00 AM
 
13,265 posts, read 17,794,424 times
Reputation: 19933
Why not let the Joneses keep up with you?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 11:36 AM
 
9,228 posts, read 18,950,277 times
Reputation: 22160
Never forget that the Joneses are in debt up to their eyeballs.
And even though Mr. Jones might have a fat paycheck, the family is likely 1-2 paychecks away from financial disaster if he loses his job.
Nothing to envy if you're financially secure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 11:49 AM
 
550 posts, read 790,909 times
Reputation: 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-fused View Post
I'm in an upper middle class neighborhood but the Joneses don't give a hoot if I keep up with them, and I don't give a hoot if they keep up with me. Meaning that the neighborhood is decidedly down to earth, even if most have an OK amt of disposable income. Some have luxury cars, others do not. Personally, it gives me more satisfaction to save than spend, and I'm not into things like luxury cars so my $ goes towards other things that bring me enjoyment.

Bottom line is that I wouldn't choose an area which keeping up with the Joneses was a question or where the neighbors thought less of me if my pool was above ground. My brother on the other hand did choose an area like that, on purpose - it makes him feel good to drive his Lexus SUV. And hey, I must admit it's fun being in it at the time but I personally am more of a down to earth, less materialistic, minimalist type person in real life. Others enjoy it so whatev...sei la vie.

Congratulations on getting to your utpoia and it's clear you are proud of yourself (and a bit boastful). Caving in as you say is up to you, nobody can make you do anything. Your thoughts, feelings, actions, and decisions are your own. How realistic it is depends on you and your orientation towards your peers and the society in which you function. With the few wrods you wrote it sounds like you want to cave, that you want to be accepted into the area as a person to be admired and that people have a high opinion of. Of course you can do that without a Cadillac but maybe your area is one that your daughter won't get invited to play dates unless the parents smell of latest and greatest eau de toilette. I know it's where many people aspire to be in life but I don't want to raise my kid in that type of waspy world where people dine at a distance from one another.

Here's the kicker - even though I am me and don't feel pressure to keep up with people, I know that if I were in an area that wasn't as down to earth as the one I am in now, when my kid grows up I will feel that pressure because he hill and I am much more likely to make sure he gets what he needs than how the Jonese feel. So my thought to you is that as your daughter ages, she will be the one to exert the pressure on you to keep up because she'll feel inadequate next to the other kids. So start saving for your girl's Mercedes now.
Funny you mention a Mercedes because just yesterday, we were over our neighbor's house and my wife, who is much, much more frugal than me, was admiring the new Benz that they had just acquired.

I'm really not trying to be boastful, but I can see why you think my original post may have been. Having attended the first PTA meeting earlier this week (to which practically every parent showed up in a fancy SUV that I literally never even knew existed), I actually felt a bit out-of-place. And that's what I wanted to stress:even though demographically and statistically, we may fit into the town, I feel like our values and beliefs do not necessarily fit within the specific area of town in which we live. Maybe it's because we're still new to the area, but quite honestly, I do wonder how that will change as we continue to live where we do.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 11:57 AM
 
Location: So Cal
40,497 posts, read 40,005,366 times
Reputation: 41935
I've worked really really hard to be as debt free as I can be and to build up my savings. Hard work as far as I'm concerned. I don't want to blow it trying to "keep up with the joneses" as they say. It can be a challenge at times, cause I see a nice car or the latest this or that and I have to resist. I always do a "cooling" off period before I purchase something to decide how bad I want it.

It's good you're getting your kids into the better school systems, that should be the focus, not "blinging"....

Besides, unless you're Warren Buffet, someone always has more money than you do anyways, so why do that battle......
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 12:00 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,987,606 times
Reputation: 2967
Quote:
Honestly, and just my opinion, if you are there so your daughter can get a quality education, that's all that matters. It's an investment in her future which will benefit her.
Bingo.

...but, beyond the academics, the effect on yr kid, the peer pressure of being in school w. a bunch of rich kids, should be more of a concern.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2013, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Down the rabbit hole
858 posts, read 951,073 times
Reputation: 2704
I've always been baffled by the "keeping up" mentality and for a long time I didn't really buy into the whole thing. Then I started doing remodeling in the more affluent areas of my state and sure enough, it's a very real phenomena. We'd enter a Mcmansion neighborhood to remodel or add on to an existing 12,000 square foot house and within 2 or 3 months it seemed like half the houses in the area were undergoing similar work. This happened time and time again over the years. There could be no ongoing construction for miles around then suddenly as soon as one person started, the rest would follow suit.

Not to cast aspersions but it seemed like it was often the wives who instigated the upgrades. Most had active social circuits and apparently within those circles, "keeping up" was a requirement to maintain status.

I hope for your sake you don't feel the need to keep the status quo. I'd always marveled at the men married to these women. They were captains of industry, powerful people who's decisions could affect thousands, and yet they'd cave to follow the crowd, just to keep up.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top