We have some very close friends that I'll refer to as "The Joneses". Although I am protecting their identity by referring to them as "The Joneses", it is, in fact, a very fitting name for their family (at least in relation to my family).
We have been friends with "The Joneses" since we were all in college, none of us yet married. Unlike my husband and I, "The Jonses" have always been very good with their money. My husband and I got married right after college and purchased a home immediately. Mr. and Mrs. Jones waited to get married for a couple of years, saving money by living with their respective parents during that time. When my husband and I purchased our first home, we put down a down payment of $14,000. This money came from a settlement from a law suit from a car accident that I had been in. It was the only savings we had. "The Joneses" on the other hand, put down $100,000 cash that they had been saving throughout their lives!
As we socialized with them often, I began to realize that they didn't waste their money on knick knacks from the Christmas Tree Shop (like I did), but saved up for big purchases like their heirloom quality bedroom set. We, on the other hand, financed all of the furniture that we purchased.
Anyway, fast forward 17 years and it should be no surprise that we are struggling to get out of debt and "The Joneses" are in excellent financial shape.
In fact, they are going on a three week vacation to Italy this summer. I have known about this for a while and although I would also like to take my family on such a trip, I hadn't really felt jealous about them going. Until today. . .
I just found out that some other friends of "The Joneses" will be going on the Italy trip with them. They would, of course, rather be going with us, but it isn't in our budget this year. It also wasn't in our budget when "The Joneses" and this other family went on two trips to Disney World and another trip to The Bahamas.
Yes, I am jealous and jealousy is not a pretty emotion. I know that.
I am happy for "The Joneses", they really do deserve these things. They lived like no one else, and now they can live like no one else.
It's just really hard to not want to keep up with "The Joneses".
I am participating in the "Forget The Jonses Project" over at the Mommysavers forum. (You can read about how I have been doing here.)
This article has been included in the Carnival of Personal Finance #144 over at Being Frugal.