Envy is considered one of the 7 deadly sins and for good reasons. If it isn’t curbed as soon as possible, it can lead to a life of misery and it will affect your financial situation negatively. Unfortunately, envy is not something that goes away on its own. You will have to forcibly change your outlook in life if you want to be free of this negative behavior.
Envy stems from comparing yourself with others and focusing on the things that they have that you don’t. Obviously, the best way to stop this is to stop comparing yourself to others but this is not as simple as it sounds as you interact with other people on a daily basis.
One of the ways to overcome envy is to be content with what you have. This is a very simple concept to grasp but in an environment where consumerism is the way of life, you are bombarded with advertisements in every direction and no matter how hard you try to control yourself, eventually, you will give in. It may be for an item that you really need or for something useless but either way, overcoming envy through sheer force of will is not a very effective method.
Financial envy is very common and if you get caught up in it and you don’t control yourself, you are heading towards financial hell – debt. You will find yourself to be living well beyond your means and in order to keep up with that lifestyle, you will most likely incur more debt that will be very hard to pay off even if you work well into your 60’s or 70’s.
What do you feel if you are meeting up with a friend and suddenly, he shows up in a brand new luxury car and you’re still driving the same old car that you bought used over a decade ago? Feeling envious is pretty normal in this circumstance but the best way to handle this is to just let it go. If you let it linger and fester in your mind and you don’t control it, you may be tempted to take out a car loan for a luxury car that you don’t even need. What’s worse, if you don’t have a way to forcefully purchase a brand new car, it may even lead to resentment towards that friend and you may have just damaged a relationship.
What can you do about it?
As I said before, comparing yourself to other people that are more well off than you is detrimental and you should stop doing it. However, this is very hard to do because after all, comparing yourself with your peers is a very natural thing to do as it puts into perspective how well you are doing in life and it provides insight as to how you want to proceed if you aren’t satisfied as to where you are now.
Here are some more ways to deal with financial envy and hopefully it will be effective for you as it has been to me.
Use it as motivation
A healthy way of dealing with envy is to use it as motivation to do better. If you see someone that has something that you really want, instead of being envious, use that feeling instead to motivate yourself to work harder to earn more.
Not everything is as it seems
Not all people that live in high class areas, drive luxury cars, eat fancy dinners regularly etc. are financially stable. In reality, some of them are in very bad financial situations because they want to live an extravagant lifestyle that is way above what their earning power can provide. If you realize this, you won’t feel as envious as you would have because who wants to be in debt?
While saving money is what you should be doing, going out and treating yourself every once in a while is a very healthy thing to do. Spending some of your money to buy something that you really really want and indulging yourself is a good way to prevent financial envy. Just be sure that you have enough money to pay for it so that you won’t be in debt.
Be content with what you have
Lastly, you should always be content with what you have because there will always be someone who has more than you and that’s just reality. Don’t focus on what others have and you don’t, instead be content and you will have a way happier life without all the stress and pent up feeling of envy.