Annoying the Joneses – a new hobby?

By | 4th September 2017

Annoying the Joneses - a new hobby

You will most likely have heard of the Joneses:

“People who buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, trying to impress people they don’t like.”

As such, they have to try to justify their decisions to you and others otherwise the fake identity they have created (on credit) will collapse.

When you are on a different path, and not trying to keep up with them, you must always remember to have some fun with your choices and continue to develop your don’t care attitude – remember the problem lies with the Joneses and not you.

A new hobby?
I’m not talking about being a dick and intentionally winding up people, but instead taking time to appreciate the situations that arise when your choices differ from what the Joneses think they should be.

Always remember that their weird reactions come from needing to prove their own decisions or lose their (fake) identity.

This video actually shows how being proven wrong causes physical pain to the Joneses!

Purchases are a personal choice – choosing a value option (even if it is initially expensive but saves money over the whole term) brings up many different opportunities for the Joneses to upset themselves when they shouldn’t.

Here are three examples of how the Joneses can react:



A Jones will likely look at your watch to try to judge how you stand compared to them.

Indeed, they may have several watches that could be influenced by what a fictional hero in the movies wears (due to product placement.)

As I mentioned about watches – the real life professionals do something quite different from what the movies might portray, and from what the Joneses think someone should wear.

Reading an interview with the creator of the Casio G-Shock, it was designed to withstand a lot of abuse. One report mentions that the watches can be put into a -18 degree freezer for two days and then boiled at 100 degrees for 10 minutes, then thrown out a window from a height of 30 feet… and still work! Would a designer tough looking watch survive?

As for watches being an ‘investment’ – I looked once at investing. If you buy a new watch, go out of the shop and come back in and ask to sell it you will be offered considerably less than you paid moments ago – not much of an investment. People regularly forget inflation, while 20 years later a watch may indeed be worth what you paid for it – the value of that amount has reduced due to inflation.



Joneses love visible brand logos and if you don’t have the ‘right’ brand you might get sneered at.

I have a jacket from an allowed Joneses brand – when I bought it, I coloured in the bright white logo with a sharpie as I just wanted a good jacket, not to become an unpaid advertisement.

However one online review I read was from a person who had returned a similar garment… as the logo wasn’t bright enough and he wouldn’t be able to show people he had bought a Joneses approved item from a distance!



Cars are likely to be the best public opportunity for the Joneses to upset themselves.

I mentioned the very rough rule that cars drop 50% of value in the first three years – so the higher initial amount you pay, the more you lose.

In the South of the UK the roads reached capacity many years ago – the slightest problem causes gridlock for miles around now. Combined with the country road speed limit of 40mph or below and cars beyond basic transportation are of limited value.

A hypercar, whether going 1mph or 70mph in traffic, gets you to your destination in exactly the same amount of time as a small economy car or hybrid travelling at that speed. And the delicately balanced chassis of a hypercar isn’t much use in a line of a thousand cars all travelling at the same speed.

While I might quite fancy a car with a 6.2 litre V8 and a supercharger for the noise they make, it is ultimately completely pointless unless you live in Germany and drive on the derestricted Autobahn… and also own an oil refinery. Particularly when a hybrid does 60mpg at the same speed in traffic that the V8 might struggle to do 10mpg, and costs so much less to buy and run.

Sadly my own grief from the Joneses when it comes to cars quadruples as I currently drive a car that is:

– Over 4 years old
– A small car
– A hybrid car
– In a colour and with LED lights so that it can be easily confused with a fully electric car model:


As such the Joneses are beside themselves when they come across such a vehicle! Not just one thing they don’t like to react against, but four all together!

I find it funny to drive in a traffic jam to a local town behind a monster SUV and park my little hybrid next to them in the public car park – we both got there at the same time.

Although many alleged SUV’s are actually neither, only being for show and just having two wheel drive and a low powered diesel engine. With the fashion for silly large wheels and low profile tyres they will be worse off than a regular compact car in real snow.

If you look at several billionaires the cars they drive cost less than the amount an ‘average’ Jones family would pay! They realise that there is actually not much difference when it comes to reasonable transportation.

It is interesting to note that the Joneses could be wearing clothes and watches that TV or movie characters wear, driving a vehicle that the same character drives – appropriate when both lives are works of fiction!

It’s certainly almost a hobby seeing all the weird things that the Joneses do to try to reinforce their own decisions and fake identity before the whole house of (credit) cards collapses… but when the tide goes out, then we will see who has been swimming naked!

James McBrearty started his own business from scratch in 2006, to help the self-employed.

He helps people to escape from the corporate world and shares his thoughts here on the changing world of work, technology and personal finances; as well as the occasional travel post.

Over the next 10 years things are going to change significantly. James is a follower of frugality and minimalism; and an advocate of F.I.R.E. to minimise the coming disruption.

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