Singing the Comparison Blues is the Theft of Joy (and Your Savings)

April 15, 2021
by Team SESLOC

Do you use others for the barometer of what you should have or deserve to have? Constant exposure to your friends’ vacations, experiences, dining out, luxury purchases, new cars, and house upgrades on social media amplifies “FOMO (fear of missing out)” and the desire to “keep up with the Jones’s.”

Over time, the idea of what’s normal and achievable is distorted and you may start feeling left behind, wondering why your budget doesn’t provide a similar lifestyle. What you don’t realize is that you’re comparing your full experience to their “highlight reel.”

You aren’t comparing apples to apples. Because here’s what you don’t know. You don’t know if the other person…

  • Had a financial windfall, like an inheritance, contest prize, or college scholarships
  • Gets support from family — like a big college fund, help with a car or a house down payment, free childcare, or is simply sharing a Netflix account
  • Gets perks from their job, like free meals, snacks, a phone plan, fully covered healthcare, or annual bonuses
  • Received their luxuries or experiences as gifts
  • Is living on credit cards and struggling with debt
  • Is managing  expenses, but neglecting their emergency and retirement savings
  • Is carefully budgeting, but not bragging about the careful planning and frugal choices they made to achieve their exciting lifestyle

So how can you combat Comparison Blues? If you realize you’re sowing envy, take a moment to remember that you don’t have the full picture. Take a step back from social media or other triggers. Focus on your individual situation and practice money mindfulness. Identify your money values, develop financial goals that you can achieve, recognize your strengths, and celebrate every little victory. Comparison Living will steal your joy — and your money.