The Fiscal Fitness Podcast, Episode 45: What is Financial Success? It’s Up to You.
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We very much live in a “keeping up with the Jones’ ” society.  Financial success for a lot of Americans means having tons of toys and making sure everyone sees them.  Unfortunately, a lot of the time those people that outwardly look like they are financially successful are really living with tons of financial stress. A lot of those same people are in debt and living paycheck-to-paycheck.

It’s important to really understand what financial success means to you. If you define success by how much money you make or income you have, you are never going to be happy.

So what does financial success look like?

It could look like a lot of things, depending on the kind of person you are and the stage of life that you’re in. Some things to consider when trying to identify your financial success include:

  • Long term goals
  • Short term goals
  • Your values and whether you are putting your money towards those values
  • What actually makes you happy
  • The lifestyle you want to live during retirement and will your current saving and investing actually get you those numbers
  • Your current financial stress level (0/10 – 10/10)

Here is one quick exercise you can do

Defining success starts with defining your values. Your top three values are going to tell a lot about what success looks like to you. Your values may include your children, your faith, or your business.  They could be tied more to how you enjoy your free time. That could be boating on the weekends, traveling the world, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Take a few minutes to write down your top three values.

Now that you have your top three, are you putting your money behind those values? Does your current financial situation mean you’re not actually putting your finances behind your values?  Getting clear on your values will help you clearly define what financial success looks like to you. That’s probably going to less to do with the amount of your paycheck than you originally thought.

Bonus points: If you have a spouse or significant other compare your values with each other and talk about how you can better financially support those values.

Highlights of this episode:

  • Studies show that your idea of financial success is double whatever your current salary is
  • The first step in understanding financial success is taking a look at what you are currently making and figure out how your current income can make you happy.
  • To be financially successful you not only have to look towards long term goals and numbers but also look at nurturing what currently is making you happy. Also, you’re going to want to eliminate what you are currently tolerating.
  • True financial success is living the life you want to live with meaning and intention.


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