Every day I meet with people seeking … something. Sometimes it is wealth. Or financial security or freedom. To achieve a goal or dream of retirement, buying a home or sending their children to college. But ultimately, what they truly want is money happiness. They want to use their money in a way that brings joy, not guilt, into their lives, every day.
As I’ve shared before, money is emotional and it is very easy to let our emotions guide our decisions, which often leads to poor choices where we buy things to appease our feelings and to feel good. To experience that temporary high something new gives you. Some of you may think that doesn’t sound so awful and it may not be short-term. The problem is we sacrifice our true wants, goals and dreams when we feed our emotions, especially when it becomes a habit. We get distracted and lose sight of our goals while also spending money on things that don’t truly give us long-term satisfaction.
In many cases, I initially find your money emotions are in the driver’s seat, not you. People covet money but they also tend to fear it. They think it is mysterious, something to avoid or a corrupter. We don’t realize how much our money emotions, which can vary from situation-to-situation, affect our lives. Before you can truly find your money happiness, you need to understand (and frequently fix) your relationship with money.
Money happiness means owning your financial power, which feels so good and changes how you experience life. It is well worth getting Financially Real and doing the work to find your money happiness.
I’ve shared with you previously on how-to find your money happiness, but today I’d like to focus on some of the many benefits you’ll experience once you reclaim your money power.
The two big money emotions I find many people carry deep inside of them revolve around guilt and fear. They make us spend too much or too little, second-guess every decision, feel ashamed about the things we want or have and rob of us our money confidence. The good news? Once you find your money happiness, your guilt and fear significantly diminish because you’ve given your money purpose and make value-based decisions. You now make confident decisions with your money without concern about “keeping up” or pleasing others. You live your own life on your terms, guilt-free.
This is something most of us don’t like to admit, but we occasionally get pangs of jealously or envy when others succeed. We may even be genuinely happy for them and still find ourselves constantly wondering “why them and not me?” or “when will it be my turn”? We have been highly conditioned as a society to compete with one another, even when there is no actual competition between us.
This is something I work actively with myself and my daughters to address because these emotions are incredibly powerful and prevent us from appreciating our own achievements. It fuels those desires to “keep up” and puts our emotions back in the driver’s seat. When I hear that little edge of jealously creep into my daughters’ voices or in my own head, I immediately stop that train of thought in its tracks and turn to gratitude. To recognize and appreciate our many blessings AND to give thanks for our friends’ blessings too. This helps us stop comparing our worth against others.
It takes time to train your brain to recognize the signals and do a gratitude reframe, but it is worth the effort. Envy and jealously are big blockers of joy and happiness, so you have to find a way to address them and get them under control.
Once you feel in control of your money and able to make confident value-based decisions, you’ll also notice that the world seems bigger. There are opportunities all around you, just waiting for you to grab them. It doesn’t mean every opportunity is right for you, but now you’re in the right mindset to assess and take advantage of the ones that do.
This is a huge mindset shift and can bring so much positive change to your life. And not just in your attitude, but the possibilities you see. Most tend to live small (and I don’t mean how much we spend) and our money happiness allows us to think big. Most importantly, we go from dreaming about a better life to taking the actions necessary to make it a reality.
Beyond our increased ability to see opportunities and possibilities, we also have stronger coping skills when things go wrong too. Money happiness won’t guarantee every day will be sunshine and roses, but it does help you power through setbacks. To not get stuck and unable to move forward. I see this frequently where people have failed (or at least they have in their own mind) and they can’t move past it. They beat themselves up over their failure and/or mistake. Happy people step back and assess the situation. They look for the lesson and move on. They don’t let a setback, such as debt, be “their story”.
Money is often cited as the #1 factor behind divorce. This doesn’t shock me because unfortunately, a lack of money transparency and shared goals are two common problems in many relationships. Fortunately, part of the process of finding your money happiness addresses those two issues and helps you resolve them.
Because you now have a strong handle on your money emotions and how they influence you and your actions, your relationships will begin to change. You will stop unconsciously competing with others, so their success no longer makes you question your own worth. You won’t stress over whether or not others approve of how you use your money because you spend your money in alignment with your values and goals. You’ll become a better spouse, family member, friend, co-worker and parent because you are in balance.
While being happy won’t miraculously cure you of all your ailments or stave off illness, you should experience better health. Why? Because when we are happier, we tend to take better care of ourselves. We exercise regularly, eat healthier and get enough sleep. We don’t skip annual check-ups, which helps detect any problems early and improves odds of recovery. Additionally, our ability to handle stress is higher, so we don’t fall prey to old temptations, like overeating or overspending to alleviate pressure.
Most of the time when you see me, I have a big smile on my face. I am genuinely happy. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days or problems, but my normal mode is happiness. My life is busy and chaotic and I love every minute of it. Why? Because I am confident that I am spending both my time and money on the things that truly matter to me. My life fulfills me. There are still opportunities and things I want to achieve, and my money happiness helps me feel confident in my ability to create my ideal life.
Money happiness doesn’t happen overnight, but you can take immediate steps to put you on the path to reclaim your financial power and use your money with joy. Money happiness will change your perspective and help you truly live the life you always wanted for you and your family.
What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced after finding your money happiness?