Are you Green with Envy? | The Frugalista

Are you Green with Envy?

by frugalista on April 3, 2008

Greeneye_2 So, I did the first night of being a nomad and stayed here at a friend’s place while my apartment is fumigated. The building is hot: bay view, valet parking, elevator operator, the whole bit. Man, homelessness never felt so sweet. I enjoyed it and was thankful to have a friend who  a) let me stay with her for two nights b)lives well

A friend at work asked if I were envious, and I said no. Seeing success motivates me to work harder and smarter. Also, for all my bellyaching, I have no reason to complain about my life. It’s a great one.

Now, I don’t play "keep up with the Joneses"  with friends, but I do read glossy magazines. You see a new look or a new hair style and you want to imitate. I don’t believe in "blaming the media" for everything, but sometimes you see a fashion statement and want to buy in. I agree having "the right look" can come with a high cost.

A while ago, I sat on a panel at Columbia University’s journalism school with Shira Boss, author of Green with Envy. Her book talks about how we wonder about the financial situations of others and often compare ourselves. Boss even admitted to doing that with a neighbor of hers, only to realize later that neighbor was deep in debt.

Do you think that Americans "keep up with the Joneses" too much? Do you check out what other homes, cars, etc. that other people have and compare it to your own? Do you find other people envious of your life and it bothers you? 

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