Whew, is it getting hot in here? For some reason, the past two days was a huge day for financial peer pressure. It just seemed like everywhere I went, there was some example about how our family isn’t/wouldn’t/won’t fit in because of some of the financial choices that we are making.
Our biggest long-term goal is to completely get out of debt, including our house and to start to build wealth so we can give generously. At the moment, we are far from this goal, but making progress. We have no debt, other than our house, although that debt is a doozy. And so, we are making many unpopular choices, living on just the basics plus cable, skipping new clothes, new technology and other services or opportunities that seem part of the normal American lifestyle.
I won’t get into details about all of the confrontations that I faced, but I can tell you that the peer pressure to spend money on certain things to be accepted into the crowd was real. The looks, the speeches, the counseling was hard to ignore. I felt bad. Then I recognized it for what it was, peer pressure. At the moment, we are fine without the things that so many people can’t imagine doing without. Our kids are happy and well-adjusted, if you don’t count the times we let them stay up a little too late and they get cranky.
Peer pressure is a reality in our society, and I’m talking here about adult peer pressure. There are many ways that our lives are shaped by it: where we live, what kind of car we drive, what clothes we wear, what sports our children are in, the extravagance and creativity of our birthday or Christmas parties, and of course our acquisitions. Is it no wonder that so many of us suffer with terrible debt?