A few days ago I did a post saying ‘Financial Peer Pressure’ – here is the link…http://www.subramoney.com/2014/04/financial-peer-pressure/

Largely people who get into financial trouble – at whatever level – is their inability to live within their own budget and have their own goals. Now if my goal is to make a trip to Australia and that trip is expected to cost me Rs. 300,000 I may put together that amount by saving on eating out, buying a cheaper phone, clothes, mode of travel to office – whatever. However if my goal is to buy a Canon 5 D camera and I need Rs. 4 lakhs for that, I would do the same things and buy the camera.

So it is PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING. However, to give up on goals because you were forced to spend on things which YOU actually did not want is really cowardice. One needs to stand up to ones parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, – and make it clear that their priorities are different. IF YOU DO NOT, HEY you cannot end up blaming the world. Now take a person who wants to retire at 48, he may be frugal in whatever he does, but may be willing to buy his freedom. Or he may decide to EARN at a lower pace so that he can earn till he is say 66 years of age – thus choosing a ‘slower’ profession. Hey it is his/ her choice. Respect it.

Here are 2 responses to the earlier article – my post of today is in response to that:

Comment number 1:
Hi Subra – human beings are programmed to yearn for companionship and recognition. That is what peers provide. When the individual wants to be ‘more’ liked and ‘more’ companionship then they give in to peer pressure. Hence the way out from peer pressure does not lie in telling the peers – ‘ I have a socilising budget ‘ – she will be ridiculed even more for being stingy / cheapskate.

The solution is to have a balanced relationship with peers. To seek companionship and recognition from others / other activities. Pursuing a hobby, focusing on acquisition of new skills will also help.

I guess this is what you are also saying in points 3 and 5. But rest of the points in this post got my goat.

Comment number 2:

It is not just “young kids” who face peer pressure on the spending front. It follows you through your career and life. And the amounts just keep increasing in keep-up-with-the-joneses-style.

Why do you need to buy a “bigger” car as you climb the career ladder, if your basic requirement for a car hasn’t changed? Why after paying off one home loan, are you expected to buy a bigger house with an even larger amount and EMI? What is wrong in wearing Bata shoes instead of Nike and Reebok? Why does a party with friends not be about having a good time but depend on how much was the bill amount?

The worst part of it all is since everyone around you is doing the same thing, you don’t even think about it. If you are lucky (yes, I said lucky not unlucky), one day life takes you by the scruff of the neck forcing you to think and re-evaluate your life and the choices you made

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  1. Namusays.blogspot. com

    Try living using non-branded stuffs, or products which are branded but the brand name is not visible to others.
    It takes big guts to live a non-exterior life. Try living a life with lesser showoffy stuff then your peers or your relatives, it will open your eyes. Its painful to realize what your peers, and relatives value you for, they value you by price of products you use and therefore assuming what you can afford. But trust me it will set you free.

    I myself can easily buy a 10+ lakh car, but still drive an alto as I am not sure what I want in life. I have now started enjoying observing others reaction on me using a small car.

  2. Anam

    i know a few ’00 people doing it. I guess it is easier in a city like Mumbai than in a smaller town.

    Your choice, do what you want. Stop blaming friends, siblings, society, for your weaknesses and wants. That is my take.

  3. Hits the nail on the head.

    Takes me back to marketing classes. Wear/Own something to make self feel and show others that you are someone else. But that doesn’t take us far. After all the ultimate value is driven by the underlying core product and thats the base.And the closer we keep our true selves to it, easier the lifestyles and peer relations…

  4. Anam very true….

    some of my cousins have earnings 1/4th of mine… but they are considered “more seccuessfull” than me in the society since they keep on changing (read upgrading) their cars every 2-3 yrs…..

    really takes guts to keep urself to the ground…

  5. Agree, Subra boss,
    But I am not blaming anyone. Just saying its tough. Maybe that is a manifestation of one’s weakness ☺ , but at the same time facing one’s weakness does makes one strong.

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