You look out the window of your home each night after dinner, staring across the street at your neighbors. You long for the cars they drive, their weekly manicured lawns, and even the vacations they seem to take several times a year.

But there are several reasons our can neighbors afford so many of the things we would love to have:


1. Perception is Everything
1. 眼睛会骗人

Your perception may be skewed. You see fancy cars in the driveway, and the trim lawns between your toes. You watch work crews going in and out of the awesome remodeling projects happening inside. Yet, none of that means your neighbors are wealthier than you are. Just because you see them as more affluent, doesn’t mean they are.

You are only able to see above the surface of their spending, meaning you have no idea what’s happening down below.


2. Allocation is Essential
2. 钱花在哪里是关键

While you choose to consistently save money for your kids’ education, and retirement later in life, they are spending what they believe are excess funds on their cars and homes. They might be making the shallow choice to spend their money on what people can see, while you are spending your money on the life you want to live, both today and tomorrow. You choose to pay for piece of mind.

It’s how your neighbors allocate their income that makes them seem richer than they are.


3. Perks Matter
3. 福利很重要

While Your neighbors’ salaries might be slightly more than yours, it isn’t enough to justify the massive leap in spending. However, fringe benefits can greatly widen the gap. Perks such as cars, phones, laptops, and more can give the recipient an amazing leg up when it comes to freeing money for other pleasures.


4. Luxuries of the Mature
4. 家庭的成长可以增加消费的自由度

As families mature, houses get paid off and savings grow. Even if your children do go to the same school, their children are older, and they have a few years on you as well. Those could be years spent paying on their house and putting money in the bank.

Imagine how much more freedom you would have without also having to manage your monthly mortgage.


5. Their Lives Might be Plastic
5. 月光族有什么好羡慕的

Your neighbors might be disciples, worshiping the power of the plastic. While you are smart enough to understand the headaches of undisciplined credit, your neighbors might be living carelessly, buying short-term luxury today in exchange for a meager tomorrow.


6. They Know Where to Find Deals
6. 你懂得精打细算

I consider myself a connoisseur when it comes to finding great deals on groceries and kids clothing. Perhaps your neighbors also know something about finding deals on the things they need, freeing up more money for things they want.


7. They Pay for Their Immediate Wants First
7. 什么急就买什么

Your neighbors could also have more money than you do because they prioritize differently, and pay from their savings for projects that they want done.


While my neighbors may or may not make have more money than me, I don’t let it influence the way that I live. I spend money in the way that’s most important for my family, both for a better, more comfortable today, and for a brighter tomorrow.