Even if you aren’t drowning in debt, you might be unhappy with your financial situation. Even those who have plenty of money sometimes become disgruntled with their finances.
Indeed, happiness with your finances isn’t related just to the amount of money you have. You can have a whole pile of cash and still not be happy. Even if you are financially secure, you might not be happy with your money situation. Here are 3 reasons that you might be unhappy with your finances:
1. You Don’t Have Enough for the Important Things
What’s important to you? Do you have enough money to spend on those items? Perhaps you aren’t in debt (other than your mortgage, and maybe a car loan), and you can cover all your bills. But what about the important things in life? What about your other priorities?
If you feel like you are just wasting your money on things that aren’t important, it might be time for a change. Look at your spending habits. Several years ago, I was surprised to find that I frittered quite a bit away on trinkets and item I didn’t consider very useful or important. I was unhappy because I never seemed to have enough to do the things I wanted to do, and that were important to me.
Once I realized that I was spending money on things I didn’t really value, I changed my spending habits. I cut out the unimportant spending, and focused on the experiences and people that I truly enjoy and value. I’m happier now with my financial situation, since the things most important to me are covered.
2. You Don’t Have a Purpose for Your Money
What good is a lot of money if you aren’t doing anything meaningful with it? Rather than seeing the acquisition of more money as the end itself, consider money as a means to your ends.
Consider how you can use your money as a resource to enrich your life, and the lives of others. Give to a cause you believe in. Set money aside for specific goals, such as vacations, retirement, or buying a home. Think about what you want your money to accomplish on your behalf. When you start thinking of money in this way, you can give it purpose.
My husband and I are intentionally not setting aside a huge amount for retirement. Yes, we are setting money aside, and yes it will be enough for us in our golden years. We are making provisions. But we also aren’t trying to accumulate a huge balance just to have one. Passing on a big inheritance to our son just isn’t our purpose in life. Instead, we want to use our money to help people now, and to enjoy ourselves now. Really think about what you want your money to do for you, and then make a plan that allows you to achieve your goals.
3. You Compare Yourself to Others
The reality is that there will always be someone richer than you, with cooler things than you. If you keep comparing yourself to others, and using money and things as measuring sticks, you will always be unhappy. Instead of comparing yourself to others, note your own money progress. How do you compare to yourself from five years ago?
Also, realize that you can make your life what you want it to be. There’s no reason to set up financial expectations based on what someone else has made his or her life. Figure out your own lifestyle, with reference to your own priorities. Create a financial plan based around that, and you will find yourself happier with your money.
What do you think? Are you happy with your situation, or unhappy?