Him or Me?? Who Would You Rather Be?

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That guy at work…he’s got everything. The house, the car, the gorgeous wife. He’s the true definition of success, and if you could be anyone in the world, you’d be him.

Well…hold on now. Is your envy really warranted? Does this guy really have it all put together? Sometimes the picture from the outside is very different from the one on the inside.

Him or Me? Who Would You Rather Be?

Here’s the quick comparison:

who would you rather be

So basically…

  • He’s got a 3,000 square foot, brand new house
  • He drives a foreign luxury car
  • He’s always wearing the top brand clothes, and
  • He golfs at the nicest courses in the U.S.

I, on the other hand:

  • Live in a 1,400 square foot house
  • Drive a 2003 Pontiac Vibe
  • Wear whatever costs less than $15 per piece (which I must say, doesn’t typically look too bad…but it’s definitely not Lacoste…), and
  • I golf at Lake Monterey Golf Course, which is pretty much where people go if they’ve never played golf before in their lives. Meaning, it’s cheap and simple.

So based on these factors, who would you rather be? The guy at work with the nice car, amazing house, stylish clothes, and expensive adventures? Or me with my mediocre house, car, clothes, and cheap entertainment?

Don’t try to spare my feelings. I know the answer. It’s the other guy! He’s got cool stuff and it’s easy to be envious of him. I get it!

But that’s not the end of the story.

The Secrets Behind the Stuff

In reality, the nice looking stuff comes at a price though. Let’s take another look at the graphic:

who would you rather be

So what do you think now? Is the monster house and the foreign luxury car worth it, even with the mammoth debt attached to it all?

For me, it’s obviously not.

I feel a little weird posting stuff like this – like I’m trying to flaunt my status to the world. In reality though, I could care less (which is why I still live in the 1,400 square foot house, and absolutely love it). I write posts like this because I want you to know that it’s okay to live below your means.

Related: Stuff and Happiness: The Inverse Correlation

Society would have you believe that unless you have the biggest and best stuff, you must be a failure. In reality though, those that don’t have the biggest and the best (because they choose not to) are typically happier than those that do.

What’s It Going to Be For You?

So what the heck is the point of this article? Is it that having stuff is bad? Or that you’ll only be happy if you live with as little as possible?

No…and no.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with stuff. If you want a $75,000 Ferrari and you’re worth $5 million, then yeah, go buy the Ferrari. It, by itself, won’t make you more happy or unhappy. It’s what’s going on inside of you that makes all the difference.

Related: The Myth of Happiness…And How to Be Truly Happy

My friend, the guy at work, has a want for everything.

  • The nicer houses
  • A faster car
  • A closet full of designer clothes

No matter what he has, there’s always something out there that’s more elite, shinier, and faster that he thinks will fulfill his emptiness inside. So far, it’s all been for nothing. He’s still as unhappy as ever, and he actually has more debt now because of it… Sad, but true.

So what about you?

Are you going to take on a bunch of debt and chase after all the high-class stuff in this world?

Or, will you be content with the stuff you’ve got, pay down your debt, and stock up your retirement fund so you can do absolutely anything you want later in life?

It’s your choice to make, and if I were you, I’d make it sooner rather than later…

Him or Me? Who would you rather be?

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10 comments to Him or Me?? Who Would You Rather Be?

  • I don’t care about the money, I envy only the people who are free from the ‘rut’. Well, I don’t quite envy them, since I’m a freelancer and can schedule my work as I pleased, but it would be the only thing I’d crave for – time, as much time as possible with my family.

    Otherwise – as long as we are debt free and can enjoy a decent lifestyle we’re golden. I don’t care for luxury, I just want to enjoy my family

  • RicksterB

    I’d rather be you. Actually, I am very similar to you with no debt. Every spare penny goes toward an investment of some kind.

    Think of the emotional space that debt takes up in his head!

    However, I do love to wear nice clothing and have nice things. I just shop frugally and smart!

    Thanks for the article!

    • Love it, RicksterB!

      Yeah, being completely debt free sure is a cool feeling. Money piles up, we can help people without thinking twice about it, and our future retirement is pretty much on autopilot! Life couldn’t be much better.

  • WTD

    I really think it is important to live around those with the same values, at least financially. On my street, I know for a fact because I looked up on county auditors website, that most folks own their homes outright–no mortgages. I would be willing to bet most people on my street could afford the home pictured with the $450,000 mortgage but choose not to. I would also suspect most of these folks have been saving for retirement and have six figure savings as well not including retirement plans. However, if one goes out to these new exurb suburbs with new housing, I would be willing to bet a lot (generally speaking) have empty houses with no furniture because they cannot afford to furnish, no kids, but they all have a dog substitute and live financially dangerously. Not for me, and my financially conservative neighbors who are not status seekers and trying to move up in the world with their peers.

    • Yup. Well said. I like living around those that have the same mentality as my wife and I too. Some earn less and don’t earn their homes outright, but they’re not defined by their homes; they’re defined by how well they love others, how much time they spend with their kids, and how many experiences they have. THOSE are the people I want to be around. Of course…I’d rather be me. 😉

  • Kathy

    I’m proud to say that I’ve come a long way from my younger years when I felt inferior to some co-workers or acquaintances who had better things than me. But I subscribed to the “I’d rather” practice of finance. That practice says the individual make a list of their priorities. It could be designer clothing, or a mortgage free home. Whatever the person wants the list to contain, it is there. Then, when tempted to buy something not on the list, or when jealous of something another person has, you look at the list YOU developed and stay with it. That way, you progress toward the acquisition of everything you want. For my husband and I, we had three priorities….put our son through college with no debt, pay off the mortgage, and retire at age 55. Once we accomplished those items, we started saving and now have the money to get anything we want because we have zero debt calling out dibs on our money.

    • The cool thing is, in about 5 years I could pay cash for everything that they’re up to their eyeballs in debt with. We likely won’t since we’re not all about having a crazy huge house, but there’s something about knowing you’re financially strong that adds confidence to your life – in every area. Thanks for the awesome comment, Kathy!

  • I’d MUCH rather be you, sir!
    I couldn’t care less about “status” symbols, fancy clothes, and cars. As long as my kids have clothes on their backs and food in their bellies, and a warm place to sleep at night, then nothing more is needed.

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