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The Cost of Keeping Up With The Joneses
Sean: What is it about these people? You mentioned that five, six months later, that’s not a long time and they get themselves headfirst into debt again. It is such a horrible thing. I cannot stress enough being a Filipino-Chinese and being super conservative about money – to get into debt. In fact, the first time that I thought I needed to go into debt in business, I was so stressed out. I know that it’s something I should never get into, but what is it about these people that they’re used to it as if they need it?
Vince: Yeah, I think there’s been a normalization of debt and really this starts at a young age, right? So when you’re young, first, you have advertisers telling you to buy. If you don’t buy, you’re not cool, you’re not worthy, low self-esteem. We have influencers now, the traditional Kardashians, and things that are showing this high lifestyle. So people are trying to live up to that. But also you have the micro-influencers like those YouTube unboxing videos where these kids are watching these new toys and showing what they got. And then their peers go out and have the stuff so they feel down, and they bug their parents and sometimes the parents will cave in. So it’s reinforcing some of these bad habits.
So I think a lot of the reasons people are in certain financial situations is because they bought into this glamorous lifestyle. If you don’t have good parents like you had, the parents that raised you with a very frugal living, and if you don’t have that to counter all these messages to buy, buy, buy, otherwise you’re not worthy. You don’t look cool, you’re not successful. Especially in the businesses too. I see this a lot with businesses. They just want to get all the new cars and things to show their success in business rather than building that foundation. So. I think it stems from childhood and once habits form, they’re very hard to change.