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I may have to kill the Joneses, but I'll try.



You say that like there's something wrong with that....

Every once in awhile I wonder if DH and I aren't living TOO far below our means. We both work - but down the street is a single-income household. The husband works where I work, doing what I do (so I assume I can guess their income). DH and I have been living on the same old carpeting and vinyl for 15 years. The "Jonses" have

1.) Complete re-vamped their HVAC system to a dust-free unit (not that the old one didn't work, mind you).
2.) Replaced ALL the floors in the house with hardwood (tile in the baths). Then didn't like them and had them all re-finished. Also marbled their fireplace.
3.) Bought the mother of all flat-screened TV's
4.) Hired an interior decorator and bought all new furniture
5.) Put in an in-ground pool with patio
6.) Bought two new cars
7.) Hired a landscaper
8.) Maid-service twice a month ($125/per - I got a quote once).

On less than half our income. In the past 4 years.

By comparison, we've bought two cars after our old ones could no longer be fixed. No maid, no landscaper, no decorator, no pool, no hardwoods, no marble, no flat-screen. We're going to hardwood one room later this year because the vinyl is full of holes.

Unless they inherited buccu bucks from someone rich, though, I'd love to compare debt-loads...and retirement savings....our "shabby" house is 2 years from being paid-for. Mortgage is our only debt. We're stashing 17% pre-tax into 401-K accounts (from both paychecks) and three years ago we bought a rental property.

I say Eff the Jonses. They'll be living on cat-food in retirement or the poor DH will be working when he's 80 to support her spending. FIRE and "keeping up with the Jonses" are incompatible goals.

SG "Not keeping up with the Jonses, either."
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