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Home / Budgeting / 5 Reasons Your Neighbors Seem To Have More Than You


Big House Next to Smaller HousesFrom time to time I sit on the front porch of my home and look around at all of the things that my neighbors have. After a mournful look around, I start comparing their stuff to mine and I wonder how they have it so much better than me. While that kind of thinking is not uncommon, it can be a dangerous trap that will destroy your budget. Here are five reasons that your neighbors may seem to have more than you.

  1. One reason has to do with age. How old are your neighbors? How old are their children? Have they owned their home long enough to have it paid off? The luxury of aging is to have made it through all of the financial struggles and paid stuff off. Living without a mortgage payment will definitely free up some cash.
  2. Your neighbors may have a little financial planning issue. It is entirely possible that they are committed to their wants over planning for the future. They may buy now, but save nothing. That is a recipe for repossession in the event of a job loss.
  3. Another possibility is that they are great with a budget and handy with the coupons. Ultra frugality in one aspect of life may be their means to being able to spend in other areas.
  4. Are your neighbors neglecting their children’s future education and their personal retirement funds? The way funds are allocated can make it appear as if a person has more wealth than they actually do.
  5. Lastly, your neighbors may have a totally plastic life. Each purchase you see could be the result of an accumulation of credit card debt. That means that their lifestyle is unsustainable.

As you can see, the majority of the reasons that you neighbors may appear to have a better lifestyle than you are impossible to maintain. Any lifestyle that involves the non-stop use of a credit card or revolving debt is a house of cards that will fall at any moment. Yes, I sit and wonder and wish, but each time I shake it off and go back to the slow, methodical plan I have established for myself. Each time I make a deposit into one of my children’s 529 plans or add a few bucks to my emergency fund, I think, ”Even if I lose my job, I will be able to sit on this same porch for at least a year.” Can your neighbors say the same?


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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