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Keeping up with the Joneses is for the birds

I’ve always enjoyed the phrase “keeping Up with the Joneses” and I didn’t know it originated from a comic strip!

When it comes to money, you don’t want to be “Keeping up with the Joneses” because it’s a quick way to financial ruin. And as younger generations value experiences over things, conspicuous consumption is likely to be on its way out. But it’s not out yet. 🙂

NOwnership, No Problem: An Updated Look At Why Millennials Value Experiences Over Owning Things [Forbes] – “People young and old are opting for experiences over things. These markers of success are no longer as meaningful as they once were. And while young and old are both changing their buying habits, today we are focusing on millennials. As kids millennials saw their parents’ lives crumble as a result of the financial meltdown, and watched as their parents lost their life savings to the banks and Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Now the new normal is to see people in their 70s working at grocery stores when they should be retired. People have become increasingly disillusioned with the status quo. As a result of changing times, millennials want to seize the moment, and they are skipping the mall for carpe diem. People want to experience all that life has to offer, and since acquiring things no longer dictates your class or status in life, millennials are simply enjoying experiences over things, access over ownership.”

Who Wants to Play the Status Game? [The Point] – “When you first meet someone, you “feel each other out” to see where your lives might connect—where are you from, what do you do, what music/art/books do you like, etc. You are looking for common ground on the basis of which your conversation might proceed. Call this the Basic Game; I’d like to contrast it with two more advanced games that can be played in its stead, or alongside it.” A fascinating read that runs the risk of making you evaluate your first interactions with people.

Making Money, Making Happiness [Nat Eliason] – “Having money is unlikely to make you happy. But earning money can make you very happy. Depending on how you get it.” When people talk about Keeping up with the Joneses, it’s often about how much you are spending… I agree with Nat on this point about the joy of creating and earning money from your creations.

Finally, speaking of neighbors…

The Cartel Next Door [Texas Monthly] – “A thirty-minute drive northwest of Dallas, the town of Southlake is one of the richest places in America. Many of its roughly 30,000 residents live in opulent walled-off subdivisions with names like Coventry Manor, Monticello, and the Enclave. Famous athletes are a common sight. PGA golfer Rory Sabbatini and former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware live here. […] As Julia loaded her bag into the driver’s side back seat, Guerrero climbed into the front passenger seat. That’s when a white Toyota Sequoia pulled up behind them and a man got out with a 9mm pistol.” This one will take a bit to chew through but it’s a fun read if you’re into this type of thing.