Keeping Up with the Joneses: How to Be Richer Than Your Friends

Posted on 11/04/2013

A new survey finds that whether or not you're doing well financially depends on your friends. According to the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council three-fourths of young adults use their friends' financial habits to determine their own. But what if you want to be richer than your friends? Besides getting new pals, here are some tips to help you zoom to the front of the pack.

Get a Roommate
The poll found that 66 percent of young adults want to keep pace with where their peers live. That's fine if you decide to do that, but make it more affordable by getting a roommate or using a service like Airbnb to offset expenses.

Shop Less
It's hard to avoid the allure of the mall when your friends are flashing new designer purses or jeans. Nearly two-thirds of young adults say they like to keep up with what their friends are wearing. But that can cost a lot of money. Try shopping less or setting a clothing allowance for yourself. Reducing your spending will help you achieve your long term goals of becoming wealthy.

Use Groupon
Do you like to go out to eat with your friends? Who doesn't?! But next time you're picking a place, go somewhere with a Groupon or Living Social deal. Avoid pressure to spend heavily on pricey menu items or alcoholic drinks. You don't necessarily have to stay home if you're open to cutting back expenses.

Buy Used Gadgets
Nearly two-thirds of young adults feel pressure to keep up with friends in the gadgets they carry. Cell phones are a necessity these days, but they're also an extravagant expense. Try buying used or holding out for a discount. If you don't allow yourself to be defined by the gadgets you own you'll end up wealthier in the long run.

Set Goals
If you have a goal you're way more likely to achieve it than someone who aims at nothing. Visit for help whether your financial goal is to build a nest egg, start a family or pay off debt. Once you see your goal written down it will be easier to stick with it. And remember- that's probably not something your friends are doing.

By Alison Storm

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