In a society where everyone wants to keep up with the Kardashians, it's hard not to covet a fancy lifestyle--success, money, material possessions. When you find yourself in a financial rut, it's easy to compare yourself to others. Even if you don't give a hoot about the Kardashians, you might be comparing yourself to other people you know, and that could be a dangerous habit.
Because I've dealt with financial hardships for the majority of my life, I've practically based my entire life around this entire ideology that just about everyone has more than me. In high school, all of my friends had nice cars and I didn't even have a car--I shared an old beater with my mom. While my friends' parents took them on shopping sprees, I had to work for anything I wanted. But through it all, I gained integrity and learned the value of hard work. That's not saying that my high school friends aren't hardworking--they really are! It's just that I had to work a little bit harder to get what I wanted.
Even now as I struggle to find the perfect job that will kick start my aspiring fashion career, I face financial hardships through student loan debt. And let me tell you making a few dollars over minimum wage at my current job, it isn't easy!
When you get down about your finances or feel like you don't have enough, you have to remember that it could be worse. As a self-proclaimed "glass-half-empty" pessimist, I can assure you that the idea that things could actually get any worse doesn't seem possible. But in all honesty, we have it pretty good as Americans. Just look around you. Not only do we have food on the table, we also have cell phones and iPods, and if you're reading this article, you've got a laptop and internet connection, too. When I reflect on those tumultuous times growing up and even now, I realize that I never actually needed for anything. Aside from financial difficulties, all of my needs are met daily. I just sometimes can't get the things I want, which leads me to comparing myself to others.
How often do you compare yourself financially to others?