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Money and Life Aren’t a Competition

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CompareWelcome to 2018. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season are getting into the swing of things in the New Year. As the New Year comes a lot of people want to make sure they are doing what they can to make their year great. We are working on setting goals personally, financial and mental/health that we will share in the weeks and months to come.

Comparing Is Common:

Today I wanted to share something that has been on my mind for a while. It is hard to get caught up in comparison. We compare so many things on a daily basis: cars, houses, vacations, jobs and within the personal finance community, net worth. I think it is amazing when people are rocking out and have some pretty staggering figures for net worth. But they are never the whole picture and don’t take into account privilege and luck which is helpful context to these numbers.

We won’t share our net worth here. The main reason is that it just doesn’t matter. Sure it would be interesting to read, however it doesn’t mean anything. There would be no way that you could recreate it. So why have it up? To make you feel that you are further ahead or further behind a couple who writes about money on the internet? Is that going to further your own goals? I doubt it.

When People Are Doing Better:

Too often we feel badly about how some people are doing compared to us. When I see people have paid off their mortgage I get jealous and sometimes feel like we aren’t doing enough. Paying off our mortgage is a huge goal of ours but something we won’t get done for a decade, at least.

We are probably doing as best as we can with being down one income (the higher one) and dealing with job loss at the start of 2017. But because the information provided (someone paid off their mortgage) is just 1 piece of the overall puzzle you fill in the context yourself. You assume they live like you are if they can do it so can you. It doesn’t help that a lot of these stories also come with a subtle or not so subtle hint at that concept.

Everyone Has a Unique Path:

But no one is able to recreate the situation that someone else was in and have the same results. We aren’t even to replicate the same situation that we were in that has increased our net worth over the years. So comparisons don’t matter because they don’t give you more information or help get you where you want to go. They are just a highlight reel making you feel bad.

Don’t Dare to Compare:

So for 2018, I encourage you to focus on what you want to do and where you want to take your money and life. There is no sense in comparing yourself to someone else because you can’t get to where they are. You can only do you.

Sarah

6 comments

  1. It’s funny how we always compare ourselves to people we perceive as being in a better position than we are. There are likely just as many people who are looking up thinking how great you’re doing.

    I’m definitely competitive by nature but I try to see other peoples success stories as inspiration to work hard instead of feeling negative about being behind. Not always successfully though!

    • Couple of Sense says:

      I agree. We just don’t have much information and yet our minds fill in the blanks as if we do! Since humans have a tendency to look up as you said we never know that other people look to see what we have and think it’s pretty cool. I think just being on this journey and figuring out what we all what to do with our time and money is important. I like your idea to look to others as inspiration but I have to admit that I always feel a little bit of envy around people paying off mortgages in their 30s.
      Sarah

  2. Penny says:

    No matter how often I tell myself not to compare myself to others…I can’t (won’t?) help it. This is largely only in the PF world now. Which is weird when you consider that PF is probably far more supportive than any other circle o’ peeps in my life!

    • Couple of Sense says:

      It won’t help at all. No 2 situations are the same so it is difficult to try to compare. You just end up feeling like garbage after.

      PF peeps are either super supportive or kinda clique-ish! I love the super supportive ones who cheer you on!!

      Sarah

  3. Words of wisdom! Comparing myself to other people in all areas of life has been killing me and stressing me out. I think it’s a byproduct of how our society works and is geared towards, but we need stay away from that. At least I know I do. With social media these days, our youth is even more susceptible of doing that, unfortunately.

    • Couple of Sense says:

      Don’t let it stress you out!! You have to do you. No one else can be like you and you can’t be like anyone else.
      I agree on the social media. Even for myself I have needed to take a break from time to time. I can only imagine how a young person who doesn’t have all of the life perspective I have copes.

      Sarah

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