Remember that Someone always has a bigger, faster car or boat or computer or phone. Playing the game is futile, because no matter how much you have, someone will always have more.
The sooner you get a handle on needs versus wants, the better off you and your family will be. Owning cool stuff is fun. Most real people, however, have to choose between the neat toys they’d like and saving enough to retire comfortably.
Secondly don’t misunderstand status. In dictionary terms, status means:
rank: the relative position or standing of somebody or something in a society or other group prestige: high rank or standing, especially in a community, work force, or organization condition: a condition that is subject to change
Earned status is a laudable aspiration, but real status does not come from telling people how important you are, but rather from others recognizing your achievements above the rest. Accomplish something, and they will know you are good. You won’t have to say a word. Remember that status is subject to change and those who rely on their status for determining their self worth may be in trouble.
Thirdly you don’t have to be a scrooge. Owning nice things can make life more enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with buying cool stuff that makes you happy. However, buying stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have will eventually affect your family, your retirement, and your health.
Fourthly, short-term gratification is just that: short term. Focus on long-term goals rather than indulging short-term needs, will help your family and give you the peace you need.
Lastly , remember the lessons your parents and grandparents taught you. You can’t buy real friends. True friendship comes from who you are and how you behave. Friends and family are, in my mind, more important, than having the latest and greatest toys.