Happiness, not necessarily a financial goal but definitely a life goal for most of us. How do we measure how happy we are? How do we know when we have obtained our goal of happiness?
I tend to agree with Mr. Carnegie, in that I believe you achieve your goal of happiness when you think you are happy. That means a whole lot of things for a whole lot of different people. However, I find that if you aren’t happy to begin with, than changing who you are by changing jobs, or even changing what you have by buying more expensive items won’t change how you think. You’ll still be unhappy.
When creating a financial plan it is just as important to understand your financial goals as it is to understand yourself. How certain things make you feel. For instance, one of your goals may be to pay down your credit card debt. Unfortunately, you can never seem to get your spending under control, time and time again you are always paying down your credit cards and running the balances back up. This obviously isn’t occurring because you don’t understand your finances or personal finances overall. So what is driving the bad behavior over and over again? It could be that you are trying to change what you have, by buying more stuff, in an attempt to “feel” happy. Yet, no matter how much you spend you aren’t getting any happier, if anything, the increased stress of getting in and out of credit card debt is only making you feel worse.
Financial planning isn’t just about the numbers, there is a qualitative aspect to it as well. It is important to understand why we behave like we do and the impact those behaviors can have on our financial goals.
Maybe it isn’t a money thing after all, maybe it is just a thinking thing… Find what makes you happy and you’ll be much more likely to achieve your financial goals.
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