Finding Financial Contentment

One area of personal finance that trips many people up, is not being content with what you have.  Not enough people try to “live their life, versus the lives of others,” as Rachel Cruze points out in her similarly titled book.  Instead of obsessing over money, sometimes it can be a huge stress reducer to simply be happy with what you have already.  Who knows?  You might already be richer than you think.

Or as Jonathan Pond puts it:

I’m often asked by people what is the key to financial success. My work in financial planning over the decades, both in the media and working with families, has led me to believe that, if you have to boil financial success down to a single “thing,” that thing is to “be happy with what you’ve got.” There is far too much preoccupation with money these days. Instead of obsessing over more money, everyone should be thinking of ways to do better with what they have. Too many people think they’ll be happier with more immediate indulgences like a fancier car, an imported kitchen, or a larger house. But if you can be happy with what you’ve got, you’ll find it a lot easier to achieve financial security – and raise financially responsible progeny. Life is a series of choices, and as long as you think you’re deprived of things, you’re going to want to acquire more things. More things won’t make you happier, but more things could put a dent in your financial future. Think back to when you were growing up. Your parents were probably pretty happy with what they had, and they probably had a lot less than you do now. So be happy with what you’ve got. That’s an attitude that transcends the generations.

Or, as I said in a recent post, you may find you’ll get even better value spending money on experiences.  The value those can provide, as well as the respective return on investment, will more than likely be worth more than the next phone, car, etc.  Heck, you may even be able to find experiences that don’t cost a thing.  If you have kids, take them to the park or run through the sprinkler during these hot, summer days.  Or even if you don’t have kids, check out something like that, or run through the sprinkler yourself. 

You will probably find that the result of that contentment and resulting joy, is indeed, priceless.