I’m an advocate for being diligent with your finances. Everyone should check their bank accounts and statements regularly. However, there are instances when ignorance is truly bliss and can actually save you money. Below are illustrations of how ignoring the distractions in life can help you save money.
Ignore Your Neighbors’ New Toys
Do you have neighbors who always seem to have the latest toys? Perhaps they’re always driving the newest car or always seem to be making updates to their home. Whenever you see them, they seem to be unloading endless shopping bags from said new car. It’s ok if these sights stir up feelings of jealousy and make you covet what they have. It is human nature. The smart thing is to recognize these feelings and pack them away.
You don’t have to compete with your neighbors to see who has the newest and best gadgets. You do you. Ignore what your neighbors spend money on and you’ll avoid trying to keep up with the Jones. Wealthy people don’t have to lavishly display their money.
Ignore Friends’ Vacation Photos
Studies show that spending too much time on Facebook makes you depressed. No wonder. People rarely show negative sides of their lives on social media. What they choose to post are carefully selected photos that highlight the positives.
When you scroll through Facebook and Instagram, how many amazing vacation photos do you see? Or, perhaps you see people posting pictures food from the latest and hottest restaurants. Along with those photos, your friends don’t mention how much money they spent to book the European vacation. Your friends aren’t letting on whether they took on credit card debt to vacay in Thailand.
Don’t feel like you need to take a trip around the world just to compete with your friends. Unless it’s something you want to do for its own sake and you can afford it. 😉 Better yet, take a break from social media and ignore the false realities your friends are presenting.
Ignore Coworkers’ Brand Name Fashions
Do you have coworkers who always seem to be wearing new outfits? Every Monday, they come in the office and brag about the amazing deals they scored. Don’t be jealous and be tempted into spending like them. You’re only seeing their best selves. They may have bought their new brand name purses on credit. Your coworker may choose to spend all their money on clothes and have nothing left over at the end of the month.
They may have bought their new brand name purses on credit. Your coworker may choose to spend all their money on clothes and have nothing left over at the end of the month. Clothes and fancy gadgets are ephemeral. A retirement account is permanent.
Ignore the Braggers
We all know these people. They like to brag about how successful they are. And if they’re not bragging about their own successes, it’s to boast about their spouse, children, or anyone remotely related to them. They just want you to know how awesome they are and what fabulous lives they lead.
If it’s not an outright boast then it’s a humble brag. Ugh, your friend says. He hates driving his BMW because cops are always pulling him over for random reasons. Umm, okay.
Just ignore these people. Whether it’s gloating or false modesty, neither is pleasant to deal with. Don’t start acquiring material possessions so you can join in the contest. Ignoring these people will help you stay true to yourself and help you stay on your financial path.
Ignore Negative People
It’s good to have people in our lives who are cautious and pragmatic. When taken to the extreme, however, these people can be downright negative.
You tell a friend that you’re saving for a down payment to buy a house. Instead of supporting you, this friend starts telling you about all her trials and tribulations with owning a house. She complains about how she wishes she still rented and how buying a house is the biggest mistake of her life.
It’s great to have people in your corner who look out for you and care about your well-being. But, you want those people to counsel you with logic rather than negativity and emotion.
Misery loves company and that’s why these Debbie Downers like to rain on your parade. You can still be friends with these people. I would avoid sharing too much of your personal life with them so that they can’t trap you with their negativity.
Ignore Financial Frenemies
There are people in your life who are your frenemies. On the surface, they act like they’re your friends yet at every possible opportunity, they try to sabotage you.
You’ve told Becky repeatedly that you’re cutting out restaurant dining so that you can pay down credit card debt. Yet, Becky calls you constantly to invite you to go out for dinner. She tells you, “Come on, it was very hard to get this reservation. You can always start saving tomorrow.” Whether it’s YOLO or FOMO, your frenemy will do whatever she can to get you to spend.
To deal with your frenemies, you may have to put your friendship on hold until you’ve accomplished your goal. You may also want to think about whether these people really are your friends. Associating with a frenemy can keep you in debt and prevent you from reaching your financial goals.
I hate the commercials around Christmas time that show people being jealous of their neighbors’ new cars. These commercials are telling you to buy a new car so that you can keep up with your neighbors. What a terrible message.
Whether it’s ads on tv or in magazines, they all have the same goal: getting you to spend. I used to love reading fashion magazines and dog-earing pages with things I want to buy. When I stopped reading them, my cravings went away. The shows we watch these days are all on Netflix and blissfully free from commercials. Eliminating the temptation means we aren’t tricked into buying unnecessary things.
Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with people and information? How do you block out the noise in order to stay on your financial path?