All too often I hear clients tell me how their lives would be better if only they had more money. While this is true, I often argue that no matter how much money you have, it will still never be enough. There are ways to be happier about money than just wishing for more.
Here are a few ways to help you rethink how you think about money:
Be grateful for what you already have.
There are people in this world with far less than even the poorest Americans. Take a minute and be grateful for all that you have….even if you wish you had more. Better yet, stop and ask yourself what you have today that a year ago you wished for. Maybe at one point you wanted a housekeeper and now you have one, or maybe you wanted a brand new car and you’ve been driving a new car for the past six months. Have you forgotten how fortunate you are? Don’t forget to be grateful for what you have now that you used to dream about.
Make your money work for you.
You are in control of your money and not the other way around. Rather than you working for money, make your money work for you by having and sticking to a budget. With a budget, you know what you have today, what your expenses are, and what you need for tomorrow. You know how much is “extra” and you can begin asking yourself what to do with it. A budget forces you to look to your future and put your money behind your goals.
Give your money away.
It sounds crazy, but the more I give away in money and belongings, the more I feel like I have. Giving things means we appreciate and share what we have for the sake of someone else. And that feels good. Each month I choose a charity to sponsor, and I donate $25 of every Eureka session to their cause. The best part about this is is every month I read about a “need” in the world or others who are less fortunate and it reminds me to be grateful (see #2!).
I coach clients to save even while they are paying off debt. Having money in savings helps break the cycle of spending or incurring more debt. You might, for example, save for a new car or for a bill that comes annually like renter’s insurance. When the time comes, you will have the cash to pay the bill or buy the new car rather than wondering how you’re going to pay the bill. This small change helps you to feel in control of your money instead of feeling as if “something always comes up.” This change in perspective is a huge step in feeling better about your money.
No matter how much money we have, it’s human nature to want more things. Rather than being sad about what we don’t have, focus on what you do have. And in doing that, you’ll start to notice you just might start to be happier about your money.