At some point, everybody on the planet suffers from believing they don’t have enough of something like money, fame, peace, respect, or love. Feeling like you don’t have enough of what you need is stressful, but a lack of money is the worst. Money will never make you happy, but it will pay the bills.
Unless you live in a secluded community where everybody barters for services, you need money to survive. Basics like food, transportation, and electricity all cost money. Not having enough money often means choosing between paying your rent and paying the electric bill.
Do you consider yourself working to make other people rich?
Most of us have been there, living paycheck to paycheck. It’s upsetting to see all of your hard-earned cash go straight into other people’s pockets. Two months of your salary pays your yearly income tax, and another three months covers your rent for the year. By the time December rolls around, you’re lucky if you got to keep 10% of your labor.
If you’re trading your life for money you can’t keep, it’s not fair, but allowing the unfairness to burn through your veins can make you bitter about your job. When you maintain a mental narrative between your job and the money in your bank account, you’ll be stressed out around the clock. Instead of thinking about money as something you work for and earn, here’s a 180-degree mindset shift to help you shake off that stress.
Put your job and the money you receive in separate isolation chambers
Imagine two boxes. On the left is a box with your job. On the right is a box with your money. The boxes aren’t related and don’t know the other exists. Your money doesn’t know it came from your job, and your job doesn’t know it produces money.
When you go to work, show up for the job as if doing your job is the only reason you’re there. For example, if you’re on the marketing team for a large corporation, show up with the intention to produce outcomes with your team. Don’t fret about bonuses and overtime hours.
Treat your job not as the source of your livelihood, but as a commitment to fulfilling the role you were hired for. When you get your paycheck, accept the paycheck as a gift from the Universe. You go to work, and money shows up in your bank account, but they’re unrelated. It sounds cheesy, but it works.
If you’re tempted to say, “but I earned that paycheck with my sweat!” that mindset is the source of your stress. To experience relief, you need to erase the idea that you’ve earned your paycheck.
You might be overspending without realizing it
Overspending is a big problem when you feel like you don’t have enough money. When you don’t get to keep much of the money you earn, it’s tempting to spend a little bit on anything you can to maintain some feeling of ownership. Some people buy trinkets that collect dust, redecorate their bathroom every six months, or buy new clothes at a discount store. Regardless of what you buy, unnecessary spending can turn into an expensive compulsion.
Consulting with nine personal finance experts, RISE found some pearls of wisdom regarding spending habits. Quoting Brian Meiggs, “A wise man once said wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants. To spend less, you should take into consideration that true wealth involves learning to be content with what you have and not being envious of others. It does not involve buying expensive things, but in having few wants. Learning not to keep up with the Joneses is a great way to reduce reckless overspending.”
Spending money on things you want feels good in the moment, but it doesn’t last. When you want to spend money on a whim, try saving it instead. Commit to saving for at least three months and then decide if you can’t live without that new washing machine, wool coat, or exhaust kit for your car. You might discover saving money to be more satisfying.
Find work you love to do
When you love what you do, you don’t need a
$200,000 salary to be inspired to go to the office. If you can’t get excited
about your job without involving money, it’s time to make a career switch. As
late philosopher Alan Watts asked his audiences, what would you do if money were no object? Whatever it
is, that’s where you’ll find authentic happiness.