I like reading the latest financial tips as much as the next person, but sometimes it's redundant. I know how to budget, save, and spend responsibly. Anyways, instead of dwelling on the next money crisis or offering another seven-point list on how to side-hustle, let's celebrate some financial success.
Yes, things are tough when you're young because, like most, you may have started with zero, or negative zero, if you had student loans. After some time goes by, the small actions count. One day, going to work may not feel so bad, and your life won't depend on your next paycheck. It's when you realize that you have money left over from your last paycheck. You get a few raises and promotions, and there's finally more money than a month with a small checking account buildup. The money gods have smiled on you, and you can start moving on to bigger and better. This is what's known as financial satisfaction.
Throughout my career, I've worked hard to move up but always lived below my means. Investing too conservatively or not holding long enough have been my worst mistakes. Here's my version of financial happiness.
I have a spending plan
I have an active spending plan. It's a living document that is continually updated for needs and wants. Let's face it, life happens, and things break. Broken gadgets are at the top of the list, but replacements are discretionary. I choose which expenses make the cut for the month; the other items remain on the list with the wants alternated between the needs. I can't help being a planner.
I am okay with large ticket purchases
I feel at ease making considerable improvements in my home. I have wanted to install a hardwood floor in my bedroom. I am ready to splurge and have picked out the wood and, again, funded in advance.
I'm currently measuring the longevity of my major appliances and think I should start looking. Why wait until they break down? I'd rather avoid the inconvenience.
I have low money stress
I am mindful of money, but I don't stress over it. I know I'll have what I need, and I'm managing my investments independently, thank you. My internal narrative runs a constant loop of money messages that help me build onto what I have and work towards increased wealth.
This is not to be confused with playing ostrich and pretending that nothing's wrong. It would help if you were stressed enough to make the right moves and focus on getting some money together. I don't recommend pacing throughout the night with worry. That's terrible stress. Good stress involves knowing that you have to take proactive measures; bad stress is a waste of energy.
Low money stress helps you avoid the hives at the thought of something breaking down, like your car or a major appliance. If you have a cushion to fall on to cover these (likely) expenses, pat yourself on the back.
Low money stress also means that you have a disaster plan. If you're not anticipating emergencies, you're not living in the real world. Even lower stress means that you're expecting difficulties and related expenses before they hit.
I have a realistic future
I'm not lying to myself about what I might have. I can envision what I want and know that it's within reach. I plan to continue to invest in crypto, and I see this as investing in my future.
It's always great to dream, but when your future life is built only on a state of mind, you're kidding yourself. You also shouldn't be expecting a family member to leave you everything. The inheritance plan is excellent if it's realistic. But if that's your only retirement plan, you're fooling yourself.
Celebrate all accomplishments
You may have some or all of these checked off. Make sure to celebrate the small efforts. Focus on what you have done and why it worked. Then, please do it again.
Thank you for reading and hope you have a good rest of the day!