Everyone can buy what they want but you found out that you cannot afford them. It seems like you are far away from them when in reality you are in the same level when it comes to financial status.
Your neighbor pulls up in a sweet new ride. Your co-worker announces she’s taking yet another trip abroad. Your best friend upgrades to a bigger house in a better area of town.
You’re pretty sure these people don’t make a lot more than you do.
So how are they able to spend that kind of money?
Maybe they’re up to their ears in debt, or they’re trust fund babies, or they’ll never be able to retire. Or maybe they’ve figured out the secret to money, which is: You can have anything you want. You just can’t have everything.
The new car, that house and that exotic trip are the shiny end results of a series of decisions hidden below the surface. What we don’t see, typically, are the trade-offs — or their consequences.
You see what others want you to see
That’s important to remember when we’re stewing about someone else’s spending. Economists and psychologists say we care about our status, especially relative to our peers, and what we consume can be a way of keeping track. We may lose self-esteem if we fear our consumption is below the average of our group and gain self-esteem if we think our spending is above average.