Save. Spend. Splurge.

Money Talk: What would it take for you to feel happy about money?

I already feel happy about it.

I mean, I guess happy in the sense that I don’t really worry about it.

Although when I earn it myself, and save it, I feel an immense sense of accomplishment and pride.

Of course, if someone wanted to donate a bunch of millions tax-free to me (not via a lottery ticket purchase, but ACTUAL CASH) I would not say no.

Money for me, is a tool. I don’t feel emotional about it one or or another in the sense that I don’t feel pain when I have a $1000 expense.

I only start to feel the pain if I had anything above a $10,000 purchase, in that I would think: OUCH…. but it still wouldn’t really hurt my finances the way a $50,000 purchase would.

I feel like I am extremely lucky in that regard – not many people can say that they can absorb expenses under $10,000 with ease, and I can.

I also don’t feel happy when I get lots of money — it is just an additional amount in my bank account.

What really makes me happy, is seeing me reach actual goals – net worth, savings, etc.

That makes me excited, because it is like a challenge, the same way when I cleared $60,000 of debt in 18 months, it remains to this day, the most exciting experience and an incredibly gratifying accomplishment.

More than hitting $250,000 in net worth, to be honest. It was really satisfying.

What about you?

You can read the rest of the Money Talk questions here.


  • Minh Thuy

    Overall, I’m pretty happy with my earnings that I can easily cover any expenses ($1000 and less) that pop up without a sweat. Where I sometimes get a little frustrated is that I cannot save as much as I would like to (who doesn’t like having cash sit around?).

    Currently, most of my money goes into an investment property mortgage, so upfront it doesn’t seem like I have going for me. Granted I have tenants which help and tax benefits as a result to off set the high income.

    I have student loan debt which will take me another 5 years to pay off (automatically deducted from pay. interest on student loan is only at an inflation rate of 1-2% per annum). In 5 years, I would be much more comfortable with money in terms of more cash in the bank account.
    And although I can put all my efforts to pay off my student loans sooner in 2-3years, I like to have a small emergency fund while the excess I’m saving to invest into a business idea. I figured saving to build a business over the next 5 years will provide better oppotunities than paying off a loan debt (although that can be psychologically liberating).

    So in my case, it’s all about being patient.
    Would love to work up to a point where I don’t have to bat an eye at any sort of expenses or purchases under $5000. That would be awesome.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I wouldn’t say I could not bat an eye at purchases under $5000 but they don’t really bother me. I know I can cover it. $10,000 would really make me feel pain but $5000 or less is fine for me, as long as it isn’t every day.

  • SarahN

    I feel fab about money, but do hate a large bill that I don’t prepare for – anything over $100 which throws my rough $850 per week budget tracker out. Even known things like car servicing and registration.

    I’m not sure I have commented to say: I’m not working. It’s been about 5 weeks, and I’m so very chilled. I took on the contract anticipating I might have some unemployed time. In fact, it came sooner than anticipated (Feb instead of April) but as Id spent MY LIFE saving and living within my means, I have about 2 years of money to live off, and that includes some travel! I anticipate I will work before I run that down, but in the current state, I’m just leaning into relaxation, seeing friends with babies, exercising regularly, coffee and lunch catch ups. Just being present in life.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.


      Taking time off was the best thing I ever did pre-child. My goodness. I was in yoga daily, and just relaxing and letting my brain wander.

      I absolutely support this kind of mid-life gap year…

      Enjoy. ENjoy. You have so many more years to work and make money if you have to, but time is fleeting.

      • SarahN

        Thank you – I work out most mornings, and have a chilled routine which includes reading the whole newspaper with a coffee. I then do errands and chores. I have coffee dates. I go to places I’ve wanted to go (like pretty swimming pools or art exhibits) and I chill a lot. It also means a ‘blah’ job isn’t enticing enough…

  • Sense

    Like you, I already feel happy about money. I earn much MUCH less than you, but it has more to do with how confident I am in my money handling skills than how much money I earn or how much I have in the bank.

    I wised up and cleared all my student loan and cc debt about 12 years ago, and I’ve just been getting better and better about prioritizing and stream-lining my spending ever since, even though my income has decreased significantly (move to NZ then started a PhD–NZ wages/PhD wages are very very low and expenses are very high here).

    I feel the same way about $100 expenses as you do about $1,000 expenses. It’s just a sliding scale with income, I think.

    $100 used to be a HUGE deal to spend. It used to be my entire annual wardrobe budget in college and grad school. Since my budget it so tight and I don’t earn a lot, I would still need to plan and research the purchase a little bit, but it would be something I could decide to do a few days to a week before hand. I can spend that amount without thinking too hard because I know I would only spend that amount on things that I REALLY find important and align with my goals. I don’t “worry” about myself anymore. My instincts on what I can easily afford, what I like/dislike, what is worth it/not worth it have been honed to a super fine point. I completely trust myself with spending my money. (Investment decisions are another story…)

    A $1,000 purchase would take months-to-years-long planning unless it was an emergency, but I have done it for major purchases like cars or electronics that I have thoroughly researched.

    My last big purchase was LASIK surgery at about $5.5K NZD. I’d been saving up for it for years, so when it came time to do the lump-sum payment, I had a few heart palpitations, a few minutes of checking in with myself and reviewing my rationale for the purchase, and then I just did it. Easy.

    I do not think that I have never made a $10,000+ purchase in my entire life (excluding college tuition). Even my old cars were < $6K.

    As long as my health stays good enough that I can earn more than rising rents/groceries/essential bills, I will be saving and banking money toward my goals. This means that I know that I can afford almost anything that I want or need, as long as I have the time and am very patient. (Let's not talk about NZ real estate prices, though! :/)

    And that is what makes money management so wonderful. With it, and a little luck, all of your hopes and dreams that mainly require money to make happen can come true. 🙂

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I cried when I wrote the cheque for my apartment and my car in cash.

      BUT. They were good tears as well. It made me feel validated that I had saved enough to be able to do so. And it sounds petty but I loved hearing the notary say with wonder: This house has never had a mortgage on it.

      😉 the seniors bought the place initially in cash as well.

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