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Keeping up with the Joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses

Is it holding you back?

These days, the phenomenon of keeping up with the Joneses is more pervasive than ever. The constant bombardment of images from advertisers, as well as our friends and family via social media is making Australians feel pressured to maintain a certain lifestyle, often to the detriment of their long-term financial goals. In fact, new research reveals that over a third of Australians feel burdened by the pressure to keep up appearances.i

Nothing new

Wanting what your neighbour has is not a new phenomenon. The New York World was publishing a comic strip titled Keeping Up with the Joneses way back in 1913. But the expansion of mass consumerism through the twentieth century only exacerbated the problem as certain material objects were branded as status symbols. These days the issue presents a little differently, with experiences rather than things tending to be our main objects of desire. We all know how envious we can get of that certain friend, who always seems to be traveling to exotic locations and dining out at the hottest new places.

The consequences

Australians are paying a hefty cost to keep up appearances. Many Australians are favouring the perception of prosperity in the present over long-term wealth accumulation. A recent report indicates we are passing up on private health insurance and delaying dental visits just to maintain our lifestyle.i 38% are even choosing to forgo home ownership meaning many Aussies are without a major asset.ii

So how do we get back on track?

A lot of it comes down to knowing where you’re going. Ask yourself where you want to be in a year, and what you want your life to look like in ten. This will help you get specific about your goals. Detail is key. It’s a lot easier to say no to that new gadget all your mates have when you know exactly where you’re heading.

Once you’ve decided on your goals, it’s time to review your budget. Start by comparing your monthly income with your average monthly expenses. Look at each item line and ask yourself, do I really need this? This will help you evaluate what you are willing to forgo to achieve your vision for the future. Don’t be too harsh on yourself though, we all need a few treats to get through the daily grind. It’s also handy to remember that your circumstances are likely to change as time goes on, so make sure you schedule in periodic reviews.

The importance of a coach

Now it’s all well and good for us to tell you to clarify your goals and develop a budget, but we know the reality of good financial health is a little more complex. Just like you might hire a PT to get you in shape, it’s helpful to have a coach who can help you make the right financial decisions based on your circumstances. As a financial adviser, our job is simple: to keep you on track, assess your goals and balance your present needs with your future vision. And with tax time around the corner, there’s never been a better time for review.

It’s only human to compare yourself to others. But if you practice gratitude for what you already have and maintain a clear idea of where you’re going, saying no to those little unnecessary expenses can be that bit easier.

Remember, we’re here to help. And who knows, in twenty years, it may be the Joneses who are trying to keep up with you!

i https://www.mpamagazine.com.au/sections/features/keeping-up-appearances-may-cost-australians-their-financial-goals-262028.aspx

ii https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/australians-are-trying-to-keep-up-appearances-but-its-slowing-down-their-ability-to-save-for-a-home/news-story/02814a8d9c3908906c04bde721cc5533

Contact us on 0883620060 to discuss your existing financial plan

Owl Financial Management (OwlFM) is an Adelaide based Financial Adviser that has clients all over Australia.

Financial Advisor Adelaide

We are an award winning practice that has been providing financial advice to South Australians since 1969. We really enjoy getting to know our clients and building a relationship with them that lasts over many years. We have a diverse range of clients from mum and dad to AFL players to ASX CEOs. All of which have a diverse range of financial advice needs and very different relationships to maintain. Our clients describe a 'breath of fresh air', personable, expert and people with high integrity. Clients have also mentioned that they are not treated as a number and the advice is specific to them. Working with clients for clients.

Financial Planner Adelaide

The one most rewarding thing about being a financial planner in Adelaide is when you have been working collaboratively with a client in developing and building their goals and objectives and the come to fruition. This give both the clients and myself a real sense of achievement and to use the famous quote 'are we there yet?' and together we can say YES! There has never been a better time to look towards what you want to achieve and start a financial plan so you can get there too.

Financial Planning Adelaide

A person's financial story is like a jigsaw puzzle... "lots of pieces needing to be put into their correct places". A financial adviser can assist a client to put the pieces in the right places by having a series of simple conversations about where a they are currently situated, where they want to be and what strategies can assist them. Every client has a different financial story and goals. Each jigsaw puzzle will always be different. A good financial adviser is experienced at putting together a wide range of jigsaw puzzles. Helping a client put their own puzzle together and seeing their satisfaction is a wonderful feeling.

Barry Phillis and Owl Financial Management Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of GWM Adviser Services Limited Australian Financial Services Licensee Registered Office at 105-153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060 and a member of the National Australia group of companies.

GENERAL ADVICE WARNING: The advice on this site may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.

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