Over at the Middle Class Millionaire, he has a great post on Keeping Up with the Jones, which got me thinking: How do you stop this?
One of the more obvious interim solutions include the Wait Game, where you have a mandatory wait time for all major purchases. Some people use 24 hours, others a week, while some go for 30 days. The point of this method is to get your brain time to process your initial emotional response to see if you really do want this or feel that you do.
Yet to truly get past this envy issue you have to find your own happiness with your life that doesn’t require outside approval. You have to understand yourself so that you can honestly assess that critical moment when you have ‘enough.’ Enough books, food, and love. Happiness should not be a reason for trying to have early retirement, otherwise when you get there you will be disappointed to learn that happiness has everything to do with the now rather than the future. If you can’t be happy now, you won’t get any happier in early retirement.
So what makes you happy? Are you happy now? If not, why? Those are the questions that will help you get past the keeping up with the Jones attitude.