Studio4 / iStock.com
Being happy or at least satisfied with your current income is harder than it sounds. It can be frustrating to read about financial well-being and feel like you’re losing money, or comparing your income to that of a family member or friend and wishing you made a little more.
Explore: Answers to Your Biggest Money Etiquette Questions
Retirement at any age: Get top retirement tips for every stage of life
The additional challenges posed by the current inflation situation may make us think that if we only earned XYZ dollars per year, then our life would be complete – we would be happy. However, will we?
Are our lives really richer when we make more money? Or, is there a way you can be very happy with your current income without realizing it at all. Here are some signs that your current income is actually making you happy.
you feel a sense of abundance
Scarcity is the opposite of abundance. In a scarcity mindset, you can have a hard time thinking about non-money-related topics. Your focus is to keep your head above the water, but that’s hard to do. This is especially true if you have a lot of debt or feel overwhelmed by too many financial responsibilities.
Abundance is a sign of happiness with current income, says Laura Barker, career coach at Laura Barker Coaching. You can’t buy abundance. It’s a feeling of freedom and spaciousness.
The way one moves from a scarcity mindset to abundance requires a change in your thinking. In an abundance mindset, you see that enough is enough for you and everyone else.
Buck uses pie as an example. Those with an abundance mindset will never see a shortage of pie. The pie has to get bigger to accommodate more slices.
Try playing a “yes and” game to help change your mindset. You can start the game with any situation. Instead of inserting a “but” in your situation, which would introduce a scarcity mentality, replace the idea with the word “and” to better focus on the abundance of affirmations.
Let’s go back to the pie chart example. “Instead of saying ‘this pie is delicious, but too many people want a slice, so my slice is too small’, say ‘this pie is delicious and I can’t wait to bake more, ‘” Buck said.
Take our poll: Do you think student loan debt should be forgiven?
You stay connected to your personal values
Most people are generally happy with their income if they can pay the basics, save for retirement, and don’t incur consumer debt. Those who follow personal values, in addition to taking care of their financial needs, tend to experience true happiness.
We Figured Financial Coaching’s MA and financial coach Rachel Duncan exposes clients to their personal values and they seem to show more satisfaction with their income and financial behavior. We can find fulfillment through self-compassion and turning inward. Often, this can be achieved through a relationship of trust that your values reflect on you.
How do you know your personal values? Duncan suggests finding out by writing a biography of money.
“It’s an arbitrary measure of life that uses self-compassion to look at how you were raised, the messages that were sent to you, and being honest with your family,” Duncan said. “This starts the process of assessing what information is serving you and what isn’t.”
Once you have written your money biography, you will be able to identify personal values and look for how those values play out in your community.
Take a look at your friends of all income levels as examples. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does a rich friend, who do you compare yourself to, connect with people in a real way? Are they generous with their time? Do they love beauty?
- Do you value fun like an old friend who doesn’t earn as much as you?
“Typically, our personal values are expressed outside of financial behavior,” Duncan said. “We can distill out these existential values that are often experienced without spending money: love, safety, beauty and connection.”
you are comfortable with your skin
When you’re comfortable in your own skin, you’ll be happy with your earnings. Pausing to compare yourself to others introduces a scarcity or lack of mentality. It also never feels good or ends once it starts.
“There will always be someone richer, more successful, more [insert comparator here],” Buck said. “If you feel better than Joe because he earns more than Joe, then you better believe that there is another person—Jane— who earns more than you. Comparison is a never-ending cycle that only perpetuates this state of scarcity. “
You know happiness has nothing to do with money
Whether you earn more or less, being happy, truly happy, has nothing to do with money. Many people believe that money makes us feel good, but happiness has nothing to do with money. It’s about feeling good and loving yourself.
“Happiness comes from within, love yourself,” Barker said. “The irony is that abundance comes easily when we truly love ourselves – that’s when the money comes in.”
More from GOBankingRates