I’m sure you’ve either got friends like this or known someone like this at one point in your life. The kind of folks that like to boast about how much money they make and they’re not afraid of comparing “how much more money than you” they make.
We have a couple in our lives that’s like this. I wouldn’t necessarily call them friends but they’re friends of a friend. And every time we hang out with them it’s a measuring stick contest – and we usually end up hearing all about how much money they make, the new luxury car they got, and the list goes on.
Now, here’s the thing. My husband and I don’t care anything about how much anyone makes because it’s none of our business. But nevertheless it ends up being an awkward frustrating get-together because this couple just brags and brags.
During one of these get-togethers, after they had talked my ear off about the raise one of them got and the new, new car they got they mentioned something about how they wished they weren’t still paying on the wife’s student loans. They then turned and asked me how much we pay a month on my student loans.
“Nothing. We paid off my loans in August of last year.”
“What? How? You don’t work and Pat doesn’t make that much.”
“We worked our tails off, do our best to live by a budget, and applied every extra dollar towards our debt.”
They really couldn’t understand how we managed to do this on my husband’s income but the truth is, you don’t have to make a lot to live a great life. And that’s why they will never be truly financially free – because they are still chasing money. They are still believing that if they just earn more they’ll be able to get more when in fact they’ve collectively have received 5 raises in the last 3 years but they still don’t have enough money.
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They keep chasing the “when you have more money you get to live a better life” mentality, when in fact if they just managed the money they currently have well, they’d have more than enough. These are amazingly talented people in their respective fields, but they struggle to put groceries on the table many months out of the year because they can’t control their inner desire for more.
When you’re constantly searching for the next best thing, you miss all the beautiful things in front of you. Changing our mindset from “if only we made more money we could do XYZ” to “I don’t need more money, I just need to manage the money I do have well then we can do XYZ” changed our entire financial future.
And it can change yours too.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should never strive to do more, or earn more, but if you make earning more the key to your happiness, you’ll never be truly happy.
So don’t get caught in the trap that tells you that you have to make six figures a year or else you’ll never be able to own this or that. Make a list of your financial goals and keep it front and center in your financial transactions and you’ll be able to achieve great things.
What advice can you offer someone struggling to get out of the trap of “you need to make more to live a better life”?
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