“I can’t get no satisfaction, but I try”
Mick Jagger immortalized these words in the Rolling Stones’ hit “Satisfaction”. Or if the Broadway sensation Hamilton is more your jam, Angelica Schuyler belts “I will never be satisfied” as she laments the fact that her sister married the show’s star, Alexander Hamilton. Satisfaction does not have to be an elusive goal, but so many people “can’t get no satisfaction”.
But I try…
Money and finances are supposed to help us to be satisfied, but so often it’s the other way around—car payments, mortgages, tuition, all add up. We quickly realize that we’re not feeling the satisfaction we thought we’d have.
What will give you financial satisfaction? I bet I know what you’re thinking…MORE $$$$! The amount that you have is certainly a piece to the puzzle, but there is a lot more to it than having more money. A Gallup poll concluded that the optimal money for happiness is earning only between $60,000 -$75,000 per year! So, what’s with this un-satisfaction? People coast through life without ever exploring this question.
What's your story?
You have a unique story that makes you uniquely you. Your finances should reflect that unique story. Ask yourself this question, are you getting the most satisfaction out of your money? What makes you satisfied when it comes to your finances?
What the heck do I mean by this? Listen to what feels right instead of what the world tells you what’s right.
Here is an example:
Imagine Suzy watching TV. Jim Cramer comes on and says to buy XYZ stock now, it’s going through the roof! Suzy starts to get excited about all the money she can make. She logs into her brokerage account and buys the shares! Later that night she tosses and turns and can’t stop thinking about the XYZ stock. A week goes by, even though the stock goes up, each night is the same.
What’s going on? She’s making money, isn’t she?
You see, Suzy really wants to own her house outright and is paying her mortgage off as fast as possible. By buying the XYZ shares she has less towards paying her mortgage. Even though the shares increased in value, buying stock instead of paying off her mortgage makes her anxious. What if it starts going down? In Suzy’s case, paying off her mortgage is far more financially satisfying than the potential gain in the market.
What about you? The right answer in finances is what makes you the most satisfied. Always follow the path that gives you the most reassurance and satisfaction. It doesn’t matter if someone gets more money, making sure you are following what is right for you is most important.
If you're not sure of what to do with your current finances then research, listen to experts, grow in your knowledge, but at the end of the day do what’s right for you. Nobody matters more in finances than you. There is sound financial advice, but it’s not a one size fits all strategy. Customize finances around the way you want to live.
What do you want your finances to look like? Be specific! Don’t say “I just want a lot of money”. Instead, ask yourself specific questions and talk about it with your spouse or significant other.
Need to get the juice flowing?
1. Do you want low-interest debt so you can earn more in other investments? Or do you want to be debt free?
2. How do you want to give to charity? Is giving important? Why? Or why not?
3. What kind of job do you want? More money the better? Or find something that truly makes you feel alive?
4. If you have or plan on having children, how much assistance do you want to give them? Will you pay for college?
Ask yourself these and more. Create a clear picture of the financial picture that you want, then start living your life in a way that coincides with you. Don’t let other people tell you how to be happy. Stick to this and you’ll teach Mick about satisfaction.