Pick the right friends
It seems like many people have gotten into financial trouble by spending money not on basic needs but on buying fancy houses, cars, clothes, and vacations in order to impress their friends or to "keep up with the Joneses". Many people feel that they are judged on the material things that they buy and if they don't buy the right things or keep up with their neighbors or peer group, they will be perceived as less successful and treated differently. Unfortunately, too often they are right. I have known many people who are obsessed with material belongings and seem to judge people only on what they or their families own. I personally have been asked twice how much my parent's house is worth AND what was their mortgage balance!
I think the key to personal and financial success is surrounding yourself with the right people. If you find that you are surrounded by people that judge you only on what you buy rather than what you do or who you are, GET NEW FRIENDS. You don't have to formally break off a friendship, just gently move away from the negative energy and find people who value you for who you are. There are billions of people on this earth and chances are you only have time to have real relationships with maybe 20-30 of them, so go out there and pick the right friends! Once you have the right friends around you, the need to constantly buy things to impress them will disappear.
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