Issue 92 - 02 | Laughing at the Joneses

By Laura Vanderkam
Published March 21, 2012 11:00 a.m.
“The last few years have certainly shown the downside of thinking that more house is always better, even if you have to stretch to afford it. Regardless, it’s silly to talk about personal finance without talking about where you live and what you drive. In the context of achieving happiness, there is also some intriguing research suggesting that big, infrequent purchases (such as houses and cars) don’t do much for overall happiness, whereas spending a lower percentage of your income on these items might free up cash for categories that will give you a more pleasant life. There are also plenty of people who have discovered this truth and, rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses or submitting to their tyranny, are getting a good laugh at them.”

About Laura Vanderkam | Laura Vanderkam is the bestselling author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, I Know How She Does It, and 168 Hours, among others. Her 2016 TED talk, “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time,” has been viewed more than 5 million times. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, and other publications. She lives with her husband and their four children outside Philadelphia.

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