We are going to deviate a little off course with today’s post, foregoing writing about home ownership’s ins and outs. Being good with money is 50% skill and 50% attitude. All the practical financial skills in the world can be undone by a negative financial attitude. If you believe that your financial circumstances cannot improve, they won’t. Many high income earners struggle to get ahead, some are even broke. It isn’t because they lack education or knowledge, it is because their view on money excludes them from being content. If you constantly need more you’ll spend more and never have enough.
You Are the 1 Percent
Remember the occupy movement? It was a social movement with the goal of instituting economic equality in America (an ambitious endeavor). It wasn’t successful but it did have a catchy slogan “we are the 99%.” That slogan was referring to the fact that the top 1% of income earners in America had seen their income increase by a significant amount even in the midst of our 2008-2009 economic collapse. The protesters thought of themselves as being part of the 99% of the rest of America, who suffered through that calamity. However noble their efforts were, their slogan was actually incorrect.
If you make the average salary in America (around $40,000 a year) you are part of the top 1% of income earners in the entire world. You can see where you stack up globally at globalrichlist.com. If you find yourself being dissatisfied with your current situation, remember you are among the most wealthy people on earth. Please don’t hear us say that you shouldn’t pursue bettering your situation. Contentment doesn’t mean that you live a pauper’s life. What it means is that you are content driving that reliable used car. It means you don’t feel self conscious about your clothing and you don’t demand having the latest and greatest gadgets, that you choose to eat most of your meals at home and most importantly being content means you reject the bigger better gotta have it now culture that rages around you. What if those of us earning a good living wage just said no to all this ridiculousness?
How Do You Do It?
You want to start small. Choose one object that you were planning to replace and try to keep it for another month. Don’t start with your car, or a bike or something major. Instead try hanging onto a mp3 player or some headphones that are old but still working. Then try to keep it for another three months, try to see how long you can make it last. Make it a game and take pride in how long you’ve had that old laptop or gaming system. At a minimum try to wait 48 hours from the time you want to buy something to when you make the purchase. You’ll often find that what you absolutely needed loses its luster. Be happy with what you have, rather than focusing on what you feel you lack. Just because you can afford something new (or new to you) doesn’t mean you should buy it. Contentment allows you to embrace a more affordable standard of living leaving you with more money left over for the things you really care about.
How are you embracing contentment? What have you said no to in order to embrace keeping more of your money in your own pocket?