Snapchat’s latest update called the “Snap Map” shows that we have the luxury to peep into the lives of others. Social media has given us the ability to know what are “friends” are doing in real time. This constant exposure to the public lives of other people makes us vulnerable to social comparison. Well, how would you feel if you saw your friends partying without you? You may feel left out or envious. I cannot blame you!
Let us apply this act of “peeping” into the meaningful aspect of finance. Say that you have a co-worker who always wears the latest designer bags and carry the latest gadgets. Not to mention, her boyfriend owns a fancy sports car. You may perceive her as a successful person and the envy monster may kick in. However, you are only seeing one side of the story. A side that focuses on the seemingly perfect image. You do not know the half of it! Your co-worker may be caught in a downward spiral of shopping addiction and her boyfriend could be in massive debt.
Financial jealousy typically occurs when you judge a person based on the situation’s exterior appearance. Thus, my first tip is to get your facts straight. The grass is not always greener on the other end. It may seem like a person has his or her life sorted out, but money is not the answer to everything. Some people find meaning in charity and others find it in family.
Speaking of meaningful relationships, your money habits are influenced by the people whom you interact most with. Social situations highlight what you can and cannot afford. This is why you need to choose your friends and social activities wisely. Surround yourself with people who inspire your financial future. Be with individuals who have similar money beliefs and money management strategies. Also, you may seek advice from financial professionals.
Finally, you can deal with financial jealousy by altering your perception. It has been stated that 1 in 36 Singaporeans is a millionaire. It is easy to make financial comparisons when you are exposed to some of the most richest people in the world. But, do not forget about what you already have. Many people from underdeveloped nations have limited access to clean water and healthy meals. While you have Medisave, public healthcare does not exist for some countries. While you have access to public housing, other people are homeless. Consider yourself wealthy in the basic necessities of life.
Rather than eating your heart out due to jealousy, use other people as a motivation to set new goals. Do your best to achieve these improved financial goals!