The word contentment can have different meanings for different people. However, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, contentment is looked upon as feeling or exhibiting satisfaction with your possessions, status or situation.
With this in mind, it might seem as if finding financial contentment is simply a matter of making more money than you need.
However, it goes a bit deeper than that.
When is Enough — Enough?
Left unchecked, most people will always seek more of everything. This, in part, is because there is constant pressure to get the newer, faster, prettier, larger, items in a consumer driven society such as ours.
This is great for the economy, as it is predicated upon continuous spending for its overall health and well-being. What about your health and well-being though?
Is it really healthy to always be on the lookout for the next great thing? How can you enjoy an achievement if attaining it only sets your sights on the next highest thing? And trust us, there’s always going to be something better to want than what you have, regardless of how great that something is.
It Ain’t Just About Money
Financial contentment goes beyond money because there isn’t a dollar amount at which it can be achieved. Yes, you do need money to live in this civilization, there’s no way around that. However, to find contentment, you have to be able to recognize what’s good about your life as it is. When you do, you might just realize that what you’ve done is good enough and perhaps you’ll be better served by working to preserve it than living in constant pursuit of more.
Please note, we aren’t saying you shouldn’t strive to reach your full potential. However, we are saying you should measure it in terms of something other than material acquisitions. This starts when you learn to take note of your world without judging. Contentment is really about the quality of your life more than it is about how much money — or stuff — you have.
Separating Needs from Wants
Recognizing the difference between needs and wants goes a long way toward helping you achieve financial contentment. As we mentioned above, there will always be something out there to want. That’s the nature of living in a consumer-oriented culture. However, there comes a time when all of your needs are likely to be met.
After all, when you no longer have to be concerned about meeting your basic needs, you can relax and enjoy your life more. Allowing yourself to focus exclusively on your wants can land you on a financial treadmill upon which you spend every dime you make and even go into debt to satisfy them.
This is the case for a lot of people who came to realize credit card debt relief was their best path back to solvency. The good news is once they’d done it, they appreciated what they have even more.
Understand It’s OK to Live in The Moment
Getting back to the definition of contentment, the only way to feel satisfied with where you are, what you’ve done and what you have is to stop and take stock of your situation.
In other words, slow your roll, note your circumstances and appreciate what’s positive in your life right now. That’s where you’ll find your financial contentment. Sure, getting things can make it easier for you to make yourself happy, but when it comes down to it, the only person, place or thing that can make you happy is you.
Attaching your happiness to externalities will leave you perpetually discontent.