Happiness in various forms

I’ve been in one of those introspective moods this week and I’ve been heavily considering aspects of the world around me, thank you auto-pilot at work.

Anyway, I decided to start reading a book that my dad sent me about finances and getting out of debt. Now, I’m not in a particularly large amount of debt, relatively. I’ve got student loans that I’m going to have to start paying next year, a mortgage and a small amount of credit. However, financial security is something that I’ve wanted and until fairly recently, I had. In the last year, I’ve gone from living well within my means to having a couple of credit cards, which I’ve not had since I was an irresponsible teenager, and a home purchase added to the scheme of things.

I consider myself a fairly educated person about money and finances. I lived for many years with nothing more than a checking/savings account and my incoming paychecks to fall back on. I learned, be it the hard way, at a young age that I could not rely on credit or “creative financing” to live. I had to shop and spend smart. Being woefully unemployed and a student for some time, I had to learn to live on literally, a pittance. My student loans will be hell to pat back due to that, but the payments are such that I can pay them at this point.

Reading this book has brought to mind that knowing the difference between “want” and “need”, as well as living well below my means is a key factor to happiness and reduction in stress over bills. I really enjoyed not worrying about when things were due, juggling payments and fretting over my cash flow. I got paid when I got paid and I’m know to be the person that can literally go months without spending the money in my wallet.

I know what it is to live simply. I enjoy living modestly and feeling confident in my abilities. Lately, that’s been a little more difficult and uncertain. That has created a lot of undue stress. The house is modest as is the payment. Much lower than the rental property that was sucking the finances dry. Of course, buying a house depleted the modest savings account and having my old car totaled didn’t help any.

My point is this, happiness is such a dynamic thing in this life. Finding little glimmers of it in daily things or having peace of mind over one’s finances are true happiness. I don’t need a big fancy house, I’m good with the fixer-upper that has soul. I don’t need a new car or even a nice car, my older, slightly worn out VW works just fine… not only that, it suits me and my needs. I don’t need the newest and greatest this or that. I don’t particularly like eating out very much, too much work and too many questions I have to ask. I don’t have expensive hobbies, it could be expensive, but again I don’t need to have the newest and greatest things for that either. I find peace in that simplicity. That is one of the things that make me happy. Simplicity. If only everything were so uncomplicated… this happiness project would be over. 🙂

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~ by wendemachete on May 26, 2012.

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