Have you ever noticed that your Facebook friends always seem to be going on great vacations, checking in at various sporting/cultural events, posting pictures of delicious-looking restaurant food, “liking” various stores, and, at the moment, pining over the soon-to-be-released iPhone 5? It’s enough to make you feel like you’re the only one in your circle of friends not spending a boatload of money on random shit you don’t need.
It’s easy to start feeling a little down on yourself. You wonder, “are my friends making more money than me?” or “they seem so happy spending money, maybe by saving so aggressively I’m the crazy one missing out on life.” Stop it immediately, lest you start feeling so bad for yourself that you go out and spend $400 on an iPhone 5! Remember these two simple facts:
1) They are probably not making so much more money than you are that they can afford to save as much as you are and go on nice vacations and buy expensive things. Whether they realize it or not, they are tacitly saying “I don’t mind working a few extra years so I can afford to buy every new gadget and gizmo as soon as it comes out.” Your goal is financial freedom, right? You don’t want to have to work, you want to reach the point where work is optional as soon as possible. Keep your end goal in mind – buying Apple’s latest devices as soon as they come out and going on European vacations twice a year every year will delay financial independence. But more importantly…
2) You have hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook friends. If it seems like your friends are always spending money, that’s because they are – as a whole. At any point in time, at least a few of your hundreds of friends are going to be on vacation, eating at nice restaurants, going to concerts, and buying fancy gadgets. Because you’re always seeing posts about these extravagant experiences/purchases, it may seem like all of your friends are always spending money. But if you look at the individual walls of your friends, you’ll probably see that each individual is not always spending money.