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Laughing at the Joneses

Laura Vanderkam

March 21, 2012

"The last few years have certainly shown the downside of thinking that more house is always better, even if you have to stretch to afford it. Regardless, it's silly to talk about personal finance without talking about where you live and what you drive. In the context of achieving happiness, there is also some intriguing research suggesting that big, infrequent purchases (such as houses and cars) don't do much for overall happiness, whereas spending a lower percentage of your income on these items might free up cash for categories that will give you a more pleasant life. There are also plenty of people who have discovered this truth and, rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses or submitting to their tyranny, are getting a good laugh at them."

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