A whopping 85% of the population admits to getting stressed out over money, with 30% feeling constantly stressed over it. Do you stress over your finances? If so, it’s good to put things into perspective from time to time. You’re richer than you think. And, no, this isn’t going to be a feel-good article about the value of non-material blessings like family and health. Materially speaking, you are richer than you think.
Money Isn’t Everything, but It Is Something
Money may not buy happiness, but it sure does pay for the things that help, like shelter, clothing and food. The truth is, it takes a certain amount of money to achieve happiness. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you must be able to meet your basic physiological and safety needs before you can reach your full potential. And all of that takes money. But how much?
It depends. According to LiveScience, Americans need to earn $105,000 per year to maximize their life satisfaction. That’s far above the base amount it takes to feel happy, however, which is closer to $60,000 for most people. How much you personally require depends on how much it takes for you to pay for your basic needs and the few extras that enrich your life.
You Have More Money than You Think
Most people earn enough to be happy, but not everyone is as good at managing their money or living within their means. Following are just a few expenses that can add up fast and make it feel like you’re barely squeaking by:
- Eating Out. The average household spends more than $3,000 per year eating out. Some households spend much, much more.
- Morning Coffee. Nearly one-third of Americans spend more money on their morning coffee than they invest, says The Motley Fool.
- Unnecessary Convenience Fees. Blindly paying fees, such as ATM and delivery fees, can add up substantially. Remember, most fees can be avoided if you shop around and plan ahead.
Examine your bank statements to find areas where you can do better. Many banks offer tools that help you track certain types of expenditures. You may be surprised by how much money is slipping through your fingers without you even realizing it.
Changing Your Mindset about Money
The key to living a rich life regardless of how much you earn is to change the way you think about money. Rather than looking for ways to increase your income, search for ways that you can reduce expenditures or shift money to more meaningful activities. For example, by forgoing your morning latte, you could save enough money to take your significant other out on a date each week.
Remember, no matter how financially strapped you feel, you can find aspects of your financial life you can feel good about. Focus on those things. Choose to look at what you have instead of what you don’t have or can’t afford, and you’ll be much happier.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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