Keeping up with the Kongs??

Keeping up with the Kongs??

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The title doesn’t exactly roll of your tongue like Keeping Up With The Kardashians does it? :/ Maybe I should have just used that movie title “Keeping Up With The Kandasamys” for the South Asian flavour. 😀 Or keeping up with the Kims if we were Korean….haha. I’m open to suggestions of other typical SG family names.

But I digress.

So anyway, CocoJr#1 recently started his nursery class in a new school where we recently moved house to. It’s three bus stops away vs just the opposite block where we used to live (ah how I miss it sometimes) so dropping him off at school by bus adds another 30 mins to my morning commute.

The first day, our awesome and friendly neighbours were driving past just as CocoJr#1 and I were walking to the bus stop. MrsNeighbour asked if we wanted a lift as NeighbourJr actually goes to the same school and I said thanks but I wanted to learn the bus routes so they continued in their way. Not 10 steps later then CocoJr#1 says:

CocoJr#1: “Papa, I want you to buy a car”

Mr.C: We don’t need a car boy. Your school is very near and papa can take the train to work. 

CocoJr#1: But I really want you to buy a car Papa. I’ll give you TWENTY DOLLARS!!!

Mr.C: I don’t think that’s going to be enough…

😀 The reason I’m sharing this is because a lot of times, while we may be comfortable with the financial choices that we make, the pressure to keep up with society still seeps through from a lot of (hopefully) innocent and well meaning comments from family, friends and society. They may not be aware of our FIRE Grand Plan so to them it makes sense to just take a small loan and buy a “cheap” car just to “make life easier”.

For example, my mum who, upon hearing that the same neighbour has two cars (for him and her), said “they must be doing well quite well then”.

Did I feel the pressure to keep up? You betcha… 😉 I’m only human after all.

As long as society’s typical measuring stick of success is financial success (and SippingCoconuts do not necessarily agree that money is everything), society will continue to judge people by visible proxies for wealth like the house you stay in, or the car (or two) you own or the clothes you wear.

What strategies can you use to reduce such peer pressure? What keeps SippingCoconuts grounded is the fact that we value more than just money, we’ve worked out what our ideal lifestyle is and we have a plan on how to get there.

So first, figure out what values are important to you. It could be security, or helping others, or adding value, or fame, or maybe just plain being rich. 🙂

Then, visualise what an ideal day would be like based on you living the values you’ve identified as important. Extend that to an ideal week, then an ideal month and so on. Once you know what YOUR plan is, you’ll be in a better position to say, that’s good for them but that’s not the lifestyle for me.

After that, figure out how you’re going to get there. And importantly, know what actions will actually slow down your progress towards your ideal life. If you know that that ashram holiday costs you an extra 6 months of work, thus resulting in you not being able to, say, go be a real monk in Tibet (just saying) then it’s easier to frame that decision and the opportunity cost in the proper context.

Do you have any funny stories about peer pressure? Or maybe you’ve got a good way to deflecting it? Share it with us in the comments. 🙂

Author: Mr.C

Mr.C – our resident investment expert and the muscle behind this entire movement for Sipping Coconuts. When his nose is not buried in anything financial, he’s either sailing or cooking or with the kids and always with a beer or a coconut nearby!

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