Envy: Why Keeping up with the Joneses is Keeping Us in Debt
by Shira Boss.
ISBN: 0446578355 Hardcover $24.95/U.S. $33.95/CAN 224 pages 6 x 9 WARNER BOOKS
silent struggle with our money is raging across America, each of us is harboring
secret financial desires and discontents, but few dare confess. No matter how
much we refuse to admit it, our contentment is based not on the size of our bank
account but on how we measure up to those around us. Everyone, regardless of
income, occupation, or net worth, wants to keep up with the Joneses, even when
it means making financial messes and covering them up.
In this myth-shattering tour of America's mind-set about money, Shira Boss
offers a tantalizing mix of hard facts and juicy gossip as she peers into the
lives and checkbooks of our neighbors…and exposes the shocking gap between
public image and what's really going on behind closed doors. Meet:
- The young couple who move in next door. They pay cash for their
apartment, go on shopping sprees, and the wife quits her job to start having
babies. You wonder how they can afford it all…
- The up-and-coming manager and his family who move into a gated
community. Within five years their savings are gone, their credit-card debt
is over $100,000, and they are still spending.
- The newly elected U.S. congressman who wants everyone to think he's
arrived. Meanwhile, he has to sleep on a cot in his office-for the next
- The baby boomer at fifty. Some of his old classmates are lawyers and
doctors with safety nets, but he's got kids in college and no retirement
fund-and the clock is ticking.
These financially stressed Americans are the rule, not the exception. And
with more of our nation's families going through bankruptcy than divorce, it's
time to bring the problem out into the open and tackle it head-on. A compelling
tell-all about what's really going on with the Joneses, GREEN WITH ENVY offers a
whole new perspective on financial well-being and simple, practical steps for
how we can stop trying to keep up once and for all.