Does Always Thinking About Money Really Make Me Happy?

by David Ning · 16 comments

question markI placed 2nd in a golf tournament and I received the trophy today. I was so excited because I never won anything other than getting certificates and ribbons before so it made me really happy to say the least. My credit card balance, my next paycheck, the stock market tumbling all didn’t matter seem to matter. As someone who always thought about money – how to save more, how to earn more, how to accumulate more – this prompted the question “Does always thinking about money really make me happy?

The answer to the question is probably pretty complicated. On the one hand, the thoughts often stress me out unnecessarily. I certainly don’t need to worry about survival. My business is doing well, I have a substantial amount of savings and my overall debt load is small. In many ways, I’m probably too frugal. After all, money isn’t just for hoarding, so I should really live it up a little once in a while.

On the other hand, unexpected events can always happen. The economy can tank, the stock market may have many down years and my business income can be volatile. Furthermore, my expenses in the future will only go up as my family grows. Hopefully, my income will also increase but I can’t count on it to grow faster than the increased expenses. This means that I cannot just project the same savings that I do now indefinitely. Add to the fact that I’m still very far away from reaching my retirement goal since I’m so early in my wealth accumulation process, and I should try to save as much as I can, as early as I can just in case. There’s no such thing as saving too much right?

This is definitely a good problem to have but sometimes having choices can lead to confusion. This will probably be a question that I will ponder again and again through the years. In the meantime, I will be content with my first sports trophy ever.

How often do you think and worry about money? Do you think you are worrying too much? How do you deal with it?

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  • Bucksprout says:

    Thinking about money is a good thing. If we don’t think about our money it’s very likely that we are not keeping up with our goals and budget. Thinking about money too much can he harmful there are better things to focus on than money.

  • I think true happiness comes from within. With the right mindset, you can be happy in any situation. It doesn’t have to be about what kind of possessions you have or where you can afford to travel to. You can find all kinds of things to keep you happy that don’t cost a lot of money. People just get into a way of thinking that they need certain things in their life to achieve lasting happiness. Think of all the people who will never be able to afford those things and yet still find happiness. Personally I find that connecting with nature makes me happy. So I’ve been trying to do that more lately. Sure I’d like to buy certain things, but that won’t necessarily make me happier.

  • Really a good point I found here because today everybody’s life is too much stressful. So that to become a happy is very in rare case. And though money is totally dependent upon the nature of the person.

  • Jean says:

    I am very careful with my money and avoid unnecessary expenditures whenever possible and focus a lot on proper investment and saving. So even though I do my best to plan properly, I think often about the future, how much money I will be needing once I marry and start a family. I dread not being able to provide adequately for them.

    -Jean

  • Marbella says:

    Being economic and careful with money is good, but do not forget to enjoy life and family too, because when you die, you have no use for them anymore.

  • MoneyPerk says:

    As business owners/investors I think it is natural to worry about the uncertainty. It is almost unavoidable in my opinion.

    Although, I love learning about business and investments, there comes times through out the year that you need to stop and count the blessings in life. Take for instance America, or any other free world country. Freedom makes it possible for us to make money the way we want to.

  • Witty Artist says:

    I guess the issue of money will always stress us out. We’ll always ask ourselves if we’ve saved enough and find reasons to save more. That’s why, from time to time is good slowing down a little and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, beyond money.

  • Wil Possible says:

    Think and Grow Rich? I guess in this case one must think in the right perspective and feel good about the future.

    Money is just a vehicle for us to do good with.

  • Afif says:

    “More money you have, more complicated problem you have”. That was my analysis for my country (Indonesia). Because I see, that they just like that. The rich people more rich, and the poor people more poor, and the markets more expensive. Sometimes, the rich people play game at poor people, and treat them as a slave.

    Why rich people always become rich while poor people always become poor ? The answer is because rich people don’t care about poor people.

    I have a dream, if I become rich, I will help the poor and make them not become poor again. Actually, I’m already have some plan to do that, but…. don’t have money to start.

    Or, if rich peoples in the world care about poor peoples in the world, the rich should help the poor, at least give them a proper job, then your life will be meaningful, and you can make the poor become happy.

  • “There’s no such thing as saving too much right?”

    Absolutely right, but if you’re earning a good income you can afford to chill out and relax a bit more.

    After all no-one sits on their death bed and says to themself “I wish I’d saved up more money”.

    • NYGUY says:

      Yes but make sure you have money to take care of yourself when you are old. I read this in an article quoting Ben Stein.

      “Human beings are not that nice. You don’t want to have to rely upon them for survival in your old age. You want to rely on money. Money is sometimes cruel, sometimes nice, but don’t try to rely on people. Rely on what you’ve got saved up.” – Ben Stein

  • MoneyNing says:

    ThirtyAndBroke: Interesting comment. Not thinking about it after having a plan requires you to have complete confidence in that the plan and all the assumptions will be exactly as assumed though.

    I’m worried right now because I don’t think my assumptions will necessary be good enough (like average of 8-10% investment return for example).

  • ThirtyAndBroke says:

    “Thinking” can be a strange thing. If you’ve made a solid financial plan and stick to it, the constant “thinking” is inefficient, the plan will take care of itself. Of course your financial plan will change over time, but worry about that when that time comes.

  • MoneyNing says:

    Carl: I’m starting to buy more and more index funds so at least I’m slowly offloading the maintenance required on my investments.

  • Carl says:

    If thinking about your money is a good hobby for you then fine. There have been many studies that people that but index funds and forget about the market do better in the long run than most people that try to play the market.

    But everyone thinks they are smarter than Wall Street though.

  • Modern Worker says:

    Thinking about greenbacks doesn’t always make someone happy at the moment, but… later the benefits of having planned will bring about happiness.

    Have a good weekend, David.

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