I really hate peer pressure. As with most people, it was really intense during my middle school and high school years, and I thought it would subside once I reached my adult years. It has for the most part, but I still face and am tempted by financial peer pressure all the time.
We are bombarded by it all the time in commercials to have the newest gadget, the sharpest new car, the best clothes. It comes from friends either on purpose or inadvertently. We feel we can’t say no to our friends’ request to go on vacation with them, or to turn down a request to go to a fancy dinner or a concert. It’s not that we don’t want to go with them, it’s just that it doesn’t fit into our agreed upon plan. But because we can’t say no, we do the easy thing in the short run and give in. However, in the long run, the ability to say “no” to financial peer pressure will take you to places that most people only dream of going.
I know we want to impress others, do what our friends are doing, and not be known as the party pooper. But the ability not to care what others think of your financial decisions is one of the most important financial disciplines you can develop. With that being said, when I see someone I know with a brand new car I think to myself how nice it would be to drive one just like that. But then I realize what the opportunity cost is to my family and it makes it easier to avoid.
How have you been tempted in the past by peer pressure? Did you give in and if so what was the result?