Keeping up with the Jonesens.

by Blog Director: Sandra Pascal 

A few months ago my husband and I decided that it was time to make some serious  changes in our lifestyle. We have been very fortunate to have lived an amazing life together as husband and wife. We both come from very humble beginning’s and shared the dream of living large. Together we have lived in our dream houses, driven our dream cars and bought tons of toys. However, here we are in 2014 and really didn’t have a solid financial plan for our future. We were spending all our money in the present and our financial future was beginning to look really weak. As parents that was alarming and irresponsible. Thanks to really amazing role models in our lives we decided to make a huge change in our lifestyle.

Step One: We began with our home and everything in it! We had a HUGE garage sale and literally sold half of our belongings. I had a difficult time deciding what to sell when it came to my clothes. Thats when I realized how attached I was to “stuff” I hadn’t  worn in years! My kids closets were over flowing with clothes that didn’t fit or they simply had outgrown and NEVER worn! I started digging through the closets and it was alarming to see all the things that were taking up space. Room after room we began to empty out and add to the garage sale pile. The garage was the worst. On the morning of the garage sale I remember looking at my drive way and seeing all the things that we had accumulated over the years and blew our money on. It was shocking! What was even more shocking is I don’t miss any of those things.

Step 2:  Smaller house. We have two toddlers that spend zero time in their rooms. Play with half of their toys that were over flowing from room to room. Our formal living room had been converted into a play room that they barely ever played in.  Our office was never used. It became a storage room for more stuff. We realized that we did not need a 4,000 sq ft house. It was an unnecessary expense. We decided that our kids could share a room and we found a beautiful 2 bedroom just a couple of blocks away.

Step 3:  Last but not least it was time to say good bye to my gorgeous Escalade. I found myself getting choked up as I emptied it out  two weeks ago on foggy Sunday morning. I had to stop by myself and acknowledge how ridiculous and immature I was reacting. Crying? really? over a car? Are you kidding me? Nope. I cried. Thats when I knocked myself back to reality and kicked my ego in the butt! It was a huge personal moment for me. I realized how huge my ego had gotten with all the material things in my life. I really thought that I needed those things to prove to myself and society that I was successful and accomplished. Well, that not true. Some of the most wealthiest people I know do not drive top of the line Cadillacs and certainly don’t have closets full of clothes they don’t even remember they have. They actually only spend 20-30% of their income and save the rest either for a rainy day, retirement or investment opportunities. Our over the top lifestyle has stopped us from being able to invest in some wonderful opportunities that  would have made a huge impact in our finances. We were so caught up trying to keep up with the Joneses that we let all those wonderful opportunities fly by.

This lifestyle change was  not easy to do because it required that we call ourselves out. Be honest. Be humble and become responsible with our money.  It was not easy to write about this either. I am not ashamed of saying that we got caught up trying to keep up with the infamous Joneses. Its our truth. What is difficult is to accept that we fell into that rat race.

We have been in our place for a week now and I have a new car and love it. My husband feels an overwhelming financial weight lifted off his shoulders. My children love sharing a room and I haven’t missed not one piece of clothing or the 30 pairs of jeans I sold. lol If you are considering making a lifestyle change. DO IT! Change is not comfortable. It should feel uncomfortable. When we make changes they enrich our lives and we realize what really is important in life is not the house or fancy cars. Its not the Rolex or designer purse. Its our family. Our health and our faith in God. Yes, I said it. The G word. The more he became a part of our lives the more we realized that our life needed a change. I want to thank to thank Joe, The Dodds, The Legg family, CEO Space, and all my friends and family for their priceless advice and love.

Until next time, I wish you all love, health and peace :)

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