You long for the cars they drive, their weekly manicured lawns, and even the vacations they seem to take several times a year.
You’re not alone.
I often look out my window, too, staring at the gorgeous homes and cars wondering how they manage to pay for them.
After all, we live in the same neighbourhood, our kids go to the same schools, and their salaries aren’t that much more than ours.
There are several reasons our neighbours can afford so many of the things we would love to have, but could never fathom splurging on.
Your perception may be skewed. You see fancy cars in the driveway, and the trim lawns you can almost feel between your toes.
You watch work crews going in and out of the awesome remodeling projects happening inside. Yet, none of that means your neighbours are wealthier than you are.
Just because you see them as more affluent, doesn't mean they are.
You are only able to see above the surface of their spending, meaning you have no idea what's happening down below.
While you choose to consistently save money for your kids' education, and retirement later in life, they are spending what they believe are excess funds on their cars and homes.
They might be making the shallow choice to spend their money on what people can see, while you are spending your money on the life you want to live, both today and tomorrow.
You choose to pay for peace of mind.
It's how your neighbours allocate their income that makes them seem richer than they are.
While your neighbours' salaries might be slightly more than yours, it isn't enough to justify the massive leap in spending.
However, fringe benefits can greatly widen the gap.
Perks such as cars, phones, laptops, and more can give the recipient an amazing leg up when it comes to freeing money for other pleasures.
As families mature, houses get paid off and savings grow.
Even if your children do go to the same school, their children are older, and they have a few years on you as well.
Those could be years spent paying on their house and putting money in the bank.
Imagine how much more freedom you would have without also having to manage your monthly mortgage.
Your neighbours might be disciples, worshiping the power of the plastic.
While you are smart enough to understand the headaches of undisciplined credit, your neighbours might be living carelessly, buying short-term luxury today in exchange for a meager tomorrow.
I consider myself a connoisseur when it comes to finding great deals on groceries and kids clothing.
Perhaps your neighbours also know something about finding deals on the things they need, freeing up more money for things they want.