Spending within our means, or more specifically, keeping our expenses below our earnings is what makes personal finance work. Accomplishing this requires self-discipline and budgeting, but becomes much easier when you learn contentment.
What Is Contentment?
Contentment is learning to be happy in whatever situation you find yourself. Contentment is a mindset change. It involves adjusting your expectations to your circumstances. Being content means that you aren’t comparing yourself to the neighbors or the people on the cover of the tabloids. Contentment means that you are setting your own standards and goals for your life, rather than letting society define them for you.
What Contentment is Not
Being content does not mean that you give up your goals. This would be apathy and stagnation. Goals are important at all stages of life. Goals help bring purpose and drive to your life. A life without goals is one likely wasted. Being content means that you are just as satisfied pursuing those goals as you are accomplishing those goals.
More Won’t Make you any Happier
Contentment is un-natural for most people. Without learning contentment, we always want more stuff, bigger houses, bigger paycheck, bigger net-worth, etc. We partly want more because we’re convinced that more will make us happy. The problem is, if we’re not content with what we have now, we won’t be content when we have more. Legend has it that a millionaire once said that it would always take one more dollar than he had to make him happy.
We also want more because we feel a need to be better than everyone else. We’d rather be the king of the slums than the peasant in paradise.
Contentment and Our Finances
Not only does discontentment leave us miserable, it also makes it very hard to stick to our budgets. When we’re not content, we have a constant drive to spend- both on little things and big things. Sure, its possible to stick to our budgets without being content, but it will be a constant struggle against ourselves, and we’ll be miserable doing it. Far better to learn contentment and be happy budgeting. And happy with life in general.
While I do strive to only write accurate information and dispense valuable advice, I am not a licensed financial adviser. All information is based solely on my personal experience and personal research and should be treated as such. Find out more.