Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Works For Me Wednesday: "The Jonses" Redefined

February 24, 2010

My mom admits that she did not inherit the bargain shopper gene that her mom and sister had. She told me a funny story the other day about a shopping trip with them to MCO. Mom said that this store was just like blocks and blocks of racks from one end of the store to the other. While my Grandmother and Aunt were thoroughly searching the racks where was my Mom? Hiding so they wouldn't see that she was not looking for deals!

Since shopping for deals was not my Mom's idea of fun or time well spent she opted for the easiest option for back to school shopping where the prices were already low enough for her. About 30 years ago (yikes!) that meant blue light name brands unless you count Traxx shoes from Kmart!

Wouldn't you know I was also going to school with a community of kids who let's just say their families had more money at their disposal than we did. Or did they use credit cards and we used cash?

Of course to compensate for my "deprived" fashion years once I was on my own I decided to treat myself to the purses, brands and clothing choices I longed for as a growing kid/teenager. I also during that time discovered credit cards and how easy it was to get the things "everyone" else had. You could say I was trying to keep up with The Jonses.

It (thankfully) didn't take long for me to learn that credit card bills can quickly exceed your monthly cash flow. Once I started to analyze and dig myself out of debt I also discovered that thinking about keeping up with The Joneses spending is not the smartest decision. It's hard though as I am a competitive person by nature. So I redefined what keeping up with The Jonses meant to me.

I looked for mentors and models of more positive money managing habits to be My Jonses. Individuals and families that were great at saving money, living within a budget, saving big at grocery stores, finding name brands for a bargain on get the idea! This was great for my competitive side since I wanted to save more than The Jonses. I decided that if I survived wearing Traxx shoes to school then I did not need the latest pattern or design in a purse, shoes or clothing items. I started to find joy in finding a great deal on name brand items like my Grandmother and Aunt. They always looked GREAT from head to toe and didn't use a credit card or bust their budget. And you know what else? They didn't care if their purse, shoes or outfit were "so last season." They bought items that were classic and timeless, just like they were.

Redefining The Jonses to be super savers instead of super spenders has worked for me a better perspective on managing our money. I am thankful for that since I am now shaping my daughter's views on managing money. At four she already knows how to look for sales and clearance when we shop, use coupons, and I don't mind when she asks if something is cheap enough.

This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family. Check out the other helpful posts there!


  1. I can so relate to this! I love how you redefined it.

  2. The traditional Joneses are either too snobby for us to care about...or they don't care about us, anyway. Isn't it funny how (especially as teens) we so want to make an impression?
    I'm recently out of debt and I could care less about brand names--if I like it, need it and can afford it, it's mine--label or not. I'm not one to plow through racks (my mom is like that, too--probably from growing up during the depression) but I didn't get that gene, either.
    My "Joneses" these days are fellow bloggers, who have taught and inspired me in many, many ways!

  3. Your mother sound great - just like mine - she would not be caught dead looking through rack after rack for a bargain, and it is my heaven!

    I just found you through Friday Follow and am following! I would love to have you stop by:


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