Keeping Up with the Jones’

In the society we live in so much emphasis is placed on looks, appearances, money, and other physical characteristics. How much a person has or how much they appear to have holds more weight than perhaps how much a person knows. Everyone is so obsessed with keeping up the Jones’…or rather, keeping up with the Kardashians. Tax season is upon us and there is a growing epidemic of women maxing out their credit cards or using refund anticipation loans for thousand dollar weaves, Christian Louboutin shoes, and expensive handbags just to show that they have expensive taste. But is it worth your credit to indebt yourself just so you can feign a certain lifestyle?

I personally acknowledge the fact that I can’t afford lavish things like expensive handbags and Michael Kors watches, although I could use my rent money to pay for things like that. It’s nice to be able to afford luxury items and to splurge but some women need to get their priorities straight; if you get your tax refund, try to save some of it, or put it into something useful. I’m not here to tell you what I deem as a useful expense because everyone is different. People are free to spend their money how ever they want to spend their money but just remain true to you. The media makes women think we have to fit a certain mold. When you watch any of popular reality television shows on cable, you will see how much the characters of the show glorify expensive things and living a certain lifestyle. But no one expects you to live like anyone else does and there’s no shame in not being able to afford certain things.

At the end of the day material things are just as expendable as some people’s salaries. I try not to give in to the consumerism shoved down our throats by the media; it’s hard not to feed into it sometimes. But I would rather be real and not have an expensive handbag than to front like I have that kind of money to blow; because I don’t. This is not to say that the women that do have money to blow shouldn’t buy nice and expensive things…if you got it, flaunt it! But my qualms are when people don’t “got it” and still proceed to front like they do have. You’re not fooling anyone. Women: we need to live within our means, especially in trying times like these. Our economy is getting a little better but if you can’t afford something, and have bills to pay, it would probably be wise to hold off on the purchase. At the end of the day, you could have as many Louis Vuitton bags and Alexander Mcqueen dresses as you want but all of those things can’t buy you happiness.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is
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  1. I just had this EXACT convo with a fellow female co-worker. She, unfortunately, has become clincally depressed b/c she can no longer afford her once lavish lifestyle that she had before. Instead of taking her bonus and tax refund and paying up her mortgage and other bills that she’s behind on, she opted to go drop $7500 down on a 2012 Ford Explorer (LOL) which isn’t even worth it. We aren’t talking about a Benz or even a Volvo but a Ford Explorer…………SMH

    My motto for life is, “Live in YOUR reality.” If your reality is shopping at Marshall’s and going to a buy here pay here, then cool. You’ll get to a certain financial level in due time (should the good Lord decide to bless you with that). I have NO qualms living in my financial reality. Shoot my rent is paid up until the end of the year, the car is darn near paid off, and I was able to set aside a few dollars for that rainy day that’s SURE to come…………….Thank you LORD! 🙂

    Great post!!!

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed the article! So many women live above their means when they don’t have the funds to do so just to keep up with everyone else! With time, patience, and a little saving, everyone can reach the level of financial security they want to reach but living above your means will only put your friend further in debt unfortunately! I hope things work out for her!

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