Have you ever wondered why some people are quite happy living on $40,000 a year while others can’t make do on $120,000? How is it possible to be happy and feel financially secure if you’re not making the big bucks?
Ask a dozen of your friends what constitutes financial freedom and you’ll likely get a dozen different answers. It’s often associated with having enough money to never worry again. But that raises the question, “How much is enough?”
Financial freedom has little to do with how much money you make. Financial freedom comes from how you think about yourself and your money. If you see money as a tool, if you understand why you feel as you do about your money (yes money elicits emotional responses), and if you have a sense that you’re doing what you want to do with money, you’ll experience financial freedom.
Stop comparing yourself with other people, feeling better or worse about your circumstances based on how your family, friends and acquaintances are doing.
Don’t buy the claptrap about more money equaling greater financial freedom. Money in the bank means choices, that’s true. But you also have to have a sense of how much is enough if you want to be financially free. And you have to reconcile yourself to why you feel as you do about money to achieve true freedom. This might take some soul searching. It might take talking with a therapist. Or it might just take some time thinking about why you respond as you do to various money triggers.
If you think money will bring love, power, security or happiness, you’re wrong. Haven’t you heard people say, “We didn’t have a lot of money, but we were happy”? Sure you have. It’s not about the money honey. It’s about how you feel about the money. And that’s in your head.
As the ancient Chinese book of wisdom says, “He who knows he has enough is rich.”
This was originally published on MoneySense.ca.