I’m too old for peer pressure, right?

I was chatting to my goddaughter the other day and she was telling me how she HAD to have a very particular type of lunchbox for school. It was imperative, of course, because everyone else had one and she didn’t want to be the odd one out. When her mom told me that said lunchbox came on wheels (true story!) and cost over R700 I nearly had heart failure and thanked my lucky stars that my kids are still too young to worry about peer pressure. And that I’m also all grown up and past caring what others think about me and my stuff.


Or am I? How about you? Do you worry about what friends and family will think of you driving an older car? Or the fact that you haven’t upgraded your bike/ house/ clothes/ TV in the last while?

I’m not sure how, but I’ve somehow managed to avoid participating in that long held and treasured South African sport of upgrading one’s car. I’m quite happy driving my 2009 model third-hand car because it’s paid up and I don’t have to spend thousands on a car repayment every month. And that works for me. But the other stuff – like clothes and home décor? Unfortunately I love keeping up with Jones’ in that department. Because… this:


If you’ve followed my posts before you’ll know I’m a big fan of Carl Richard’s sketches about money and how we view, use and interact with it. And when I saw how he framed the conversation about financial peer pressure in adults it resonated with me and made me take a step back and think about how and why I spend my money the way I do. Because even though I’m passionate about running a Money School* I’m also a woman. Who likes to buy nice things. (Because seriously… H&M Home). But what I’m not interested in, is having those nice things at the expense of my financial freedom. And so I’ve set myself a challenge for the next month. Every time I swipe my card, I’m going to ask myself – is this me? Or is this my stuff? That’s it. A simple question. It’s about bringing awareness back to my spending – and it’s overall importance in my life.

Want to join me? Please do! I’d love to hear from you too if you do. Pop me an email at Hayley@themoneyschool.co.za and let me know how it goes.

*Hayley Parry is the Co-Founder of The Money School, an independent financial education company proudly associated with the Truth About Money.