More Money Won’t Fix Your Financial Problems If Your Habits Suck

More Money Won’t Fix Your Financial Problems If Your Habits Suck

Everyone wants more money. More money means less stress, we assume. Except that’s not necessarily the case. If your habits suck, making more money just means you have more to waste.

Wads of cash image from Shutterstock

Personal finance site The Smarter Dollar took a survey of 73 readers and found that 40 per cent said their biggest problem with money was “not having enough of it”. While this is a real problem for many people, the site pointed out that in many cases, not having “enough” money may actually a perception problem:

What exactly is having more money going to bring you? Happiness? Less stress? Pride? “Just having more money” isn’t going to do a damn thing for your happiness and stress level… Want to know how I know? Because I know all of you who responded, and 90% of you make over $50,000 a year.

For reference, the median income in the US is $US51,939 ($68,263) as of 2014, though for most states individually, it’s much lower. In fact, $US50k is enough to qualify as middle-class in every single state. Of course, everyone’s situation is different — for example, $US50k in New York City isn’t going to be a lot, no matter what the median is for the state — but the broader point is that “I don’t have enough money” is just as much of a perception problem as a financial one.

Rather than saying you don’t have “enough” money, The Smarter Dollar suggests taking stock of your situation and finding out what you need. How much money do you make versus your expenses? Where can you reduce your major expenses to increase your savable income? If you’re aiming for a specific lifestyle, how much money will you need to make that work?

Most of us rarely answer these questions, instead pursuing a lifestyle independent of our financial ability to do so. However, once you decide how much life you want to buy, you can determine exactly how much money you actually need. Then you can start solving the problem of making more until you have “enough”.

73 readers’ top financial problems and how to solve them [The Smarter Dollar via Rockstar Finance]

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