In Discussions, Money

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.

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Posted on June 1, 2016

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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…

        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          I.. am going to take a page from your book and do this in the summer if I don’t get renewed. I need to give myself a break and cut myself some slack.

  3. 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. 🙂

    1. 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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