Living Beyond Your Means Won't Bring Happiness

Face your financial fears with care, awareness, and careful judgment

Planning Education

Do you ever feel that it’s never enough no matter how much money you earn? Do you spend beyond your means but still aren’t satisfied?

Even financially successful people struggle with a sense of scarcity. We might say that money, status, and success don’t lead to increased happiness. However, many of us still unconsciously think that more is always better.

People of all incomes face social pressure and visions of a more expensive lifestyle. Getting bombarded by endless advertising encouraging consumption doesn’t help. As a financial advisor, I often see people across a wide range of income levels living beyond their means. They accumulate possessions or expensive habits that don’t bring genuine, long-lasting life satisfaction.

Pursuing Happiness

Here are some ways to avoid pursuing happiness by buying stuff.

Recognize that you have enough and know you are not alone. The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas promotes the latest and greatest electronic gadgets. But interestingly, the new products don’t get people pumped to spend money. Interestingly, research from the NPD group indicated 68% of consumers are just fine with their current gizmos and feel no need to spend any more of their hard-earned money on new devices. It turns out that many of us already intuitively know what we want. And it’s not more.

Remind yourself that appreciation is a potent tool. Next time you feel stressed about something, challenge yourself to sit down and count three blessings –and realize how fortunate you are.

If you feel unlucky because the Joneses have a better car and a bigger house, you need to put things into perspective. Try this. Visit Giving What We Can ( and enter your annual income. Look at what wealth percentile you fall into. Surrounded by so much, it’s easy to get a skewed perspective on what is enough.

Making a Plan

Face your financial fears with care, awareness, and careful judgment. To heal your relationship with money, you need to approach your financial worries gently. For so many of us, these fears come from primal places. Our unconscious beliefs about money are often related to a sense of power and identity. The core of inner healing is about recovering the truth of who you are and what you desire.

We all deal with a variety of financial fears. Some people are often afraid to ask for a raise and avoid talking about their money concerns because they don’t want to feel like they are a burden on their families. There’s also a fear that you can suddenly become destitute. These fears make it harder to plan and live life to the fullest.

Feeling like you are incomplete or personally lacking is a significant drain on your productivity and happiness. Invest a bit of time in thinking about what having enough means to you

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