Mr. and Mrs. Jones are an advertiser’s dream because they only exist in the imagination of the buyer. They were part of a comic strip “Keeping up with The Joneses” which has long since ceased to exist but yet remain very much alive to this day. The author’s brilliance is that although the Joneses were never seen in person they were the ultimate yardstick by which the neighbor’s measured their success. Looking at how much we spend versus how much we save it appears that the mythical Joneses are winning the day. This means, of course, that we are losing. Everything that we spend in order to keep up with the Joneses is money we’re not saving for ourselves and our future. Does this make us happy? Sure, for a moment. But when the fairy dust of consumption recedes we’re like any other junkie minus his drugs. We’re left feeling empty, nervous and worried about our next fix.
The Joy of Skinny is learning to be deeply happy now and set the stage for contentment tomorrow. One of the big keys of contentment, along with good health and fulfilling relationships is to be financially secure and independent. Believe it or not, most of the time when ordinary stuff is happening “being happy” is our choice and a reflection of our thoughts. It’s accepting a view of life that recognizes that ups and downs, like the in and out of breathing are a part of being human. Trying to shop one’s way out of the downs is a sure way to sabotage the future and it doesn’t do much for peace of mind in the present either. At best it’s a sugar high. Do yourself a favor, pull the plug on the Joneses and set yourself free!