Saturday, February 23, 2008

What is Financial Peace for Me?

Earlier in the week I wrote an article about how I wanted to develop a plan towards reaching financial peace and prosperity. I want to formulate a number and mini goals to help myself keep on track towards the ultimate goal.

However, before I can do that I feel like I need to define what financial peace is exactly for me. Financial peace can be different for every single person. One person may be happy just having enough money to get by with every day living with no luxuries, no vacations, no entertainment. Others may want to be able to take the occasional vacation or the occasional dinner out but are not concerned with being very wealthy. And yet there are others who may want to accumulate as much as they can until they are millionaires when they feel they can do what they want.

I would like to define what I believe would be financial peace for myself. Just after college I took a job as a financial planner. They promised the potential for a very high salary and I was all game. I wanted to be rich. That is all I knew and that is all that mattered to me was I wanted to say I made over 100k this year and have x amount in the bank with a big house to come home to. However, once I got into that job I quickly found out that it was definitely not for me. I was working every day from 8 in the morning until 9 in the evening. I was working half a day on Saturdays. What good would it do me to have all this money if I never had any time to enjoy it? I quit after a couple months and searched for something with less hours. Therefore I know I would much rather have time to spend with those I love and earn a little less instead of working all the time and earning a lot.

So for me, financial peace will involve being able to live comfortably while spending most of my time with those I love.

What is comfortably? Comfortably for me involves being able to afford to pay our bills each month without worry. Also being able to go to eat occasionally on the weekends. Also being able to take a vacation or two every year. Being comfortable would mean I'm not worried about the budget when I go looking for a gift for my loved ones. I would have a house that I love and am happy with and can afford to pay for. I probably wouldn't be living excessive. I wouldn't be traveling every month of the year to far off places. I wouldn't have to have all of the latest electronic gadgets, although an occasional one would be nice. I don't need a maid or a live in home nanny. I just want to live comfortable. I want to be able to pay for the necessities, a few luxuries, and have some left over to save because I love to save.

Later I will write a couple more posts about how much money I will need to live "comfortably." I will figure out how much I need in savings to support the lifestyle that I want. Ultimately I will not be forced to work to live how I want to live. I will write a post about where I want to end up and another one about how I want to get there. Stay tuned for more.

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