by Ann Zuraw | Featured Contributor
What drives our desire to keep up with “the Jones’s”? You know the family that lives a few doors down and seems to be living the best life ever. They’re attractive, popular and affluent. Their house and yard are pure perfection, and their children are “seemingly” perfect in every way. They throw the best parties, have all the latest technology, go on amazing vacations, and share this perfect life on social media.
But the question is, are they the three “P’s”- Poser, Puffer, and Pretender?
Can they afford the show they are performing or are they drowning in debt because of this show? If we knew the truth behind the scenes, would we choose their “seemingly” perfect life, probably not.
People will often pad their lives with material surroundings posing, puffing, and pretending to be something they are not. Why? Because it temporarily makes them feel better. However, living beyond our means will eventually wreak havoc in life. It always comes down to the numbers, and numbers tell the truth.
Is your focus on having a secure future and a full life, or are you living the life of the P’s?
Your numbers should reflect who you are. Are you paying attention to your debt to income ratio? Is your retirement future in the forefront of your financial thoughts? Are your credit card debts low or non-existent? Can you pay off your credit card bills? Are your student loans paid off? Is your home equity line tapped out? Are you spending beyond your means?
Can you and do you hold in honor those who are working hard to minimize their life debt?
Be the person that respects the neighbor that drives a ten-year-old car versus getting a new one every few years. Admire those that repair their own roof, clean their own homes or mow their own lawns. Hold in high regard those who work at the local market, sandwich shop or drive for Uber, as they are doing whatever it takes to bring extra income to their lives. It doesn’t mean they don’t have money, what it does mean is they are certainly not a poser, puffer or pretender.
There are three positive P’s that we should all pursue – Proud, Perseverance, and Productive.
So, let’s stop wanting to be something we are not and focus on our own situation. Keeping up with the Jones’s is really not worth the stress it creates, and there’s no joy in “posing” to be something you are not. Emotional and financial freedom is acquired through the three positive P’s.
Ann Zuraw, Founder, and Fearless Leader/President of Zuraw Financial Advisors, a financial planning and investment management firm based in Greensboro, North Carolina serving families in all stages of life.
“Never Give Up, and it is Never Too Late to Learn.” —this is Ann Zuraw’s (AZ) mantra.
Our goal at ZFA is to encourage women to take responsibility for their finances. As a Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA ®, Certified Financial Planner, CFP ® and MBA- and entrepreneur, Ann built www.ZurawFinancialAdvisors.com as a Registered Investment Advisor with assets under management of $190 million.
Ann served for 25 years as the only female on the board of her family’s real estate company. She witnessed firsthand the difficulties of running and expanding a business, along with the hardships of balancing family dynamics through economic ups and downs. At ZFA we believe that everyone can and should understand their finances and investment opportunities whether you have $5000 or $5 million.
Ann utilizes her blog www.ChicksChatandChange.com to educate women about improving their financial life whether dealing with aging parents, kids, partners or just controlling their spending.
Born in New Orleans and currently living in Greensboro, North Carolina, Ann lived in NYC, San Francisco & Oakland, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My family includes 3 young adult kids who like it or not are always learning about money and—2 English Bulldogs who refuse to listen…