Money is often correlated with stress. It can be the stress of not having enough money, the stress of budgeting or the stress of having to keep up with society. There is so much pressure from social media to have the perfect life, more stuff, a bigger house, new car, etc. All this stuff does not bring us more happiness, it actually brings us more stress. Money is even known to be a top cause of divorce, for it has the potential to put a huge strain on relationships. And having more money and making more money is not always the answer. Sometimes, the more money you make, the more problems you can have. Many times, I hear people tell me that they wish they had more money that it would make things easier. By saying that money means security or freedom, you are ultimately saying that by being financially secure or financially free, you are happy.  Happiness does not mean more money. Finding happiness is finding yourself. It’s looking at your emotions. It is digging deep. Many days I feel like a therapist for I am helping people dig deep. It is important to answer the tough questions, such as “What is your favorite money memory?” to “Why do you not have a budget?” to “Why does money scare you?” “If you suddenly had 1 million dollars, what would you do?”

Digging deep is looking at what brings you happiness and what does happiness mean to you? Money does not bring happiness. Money is simply a vehicle to help get you where you want to go. How we feel about our money is inevitable, for we need money to survive. But how we spend our money, how we treat our money, is what ultimately matters. Does having a bigger home or a new car add to your happiness? It doesn’t. Or are you happiest when you are relaxed, calm and spending time with your loved ones? No matter how much money you make (or have), that is not going to guarantee your happiness. Your happiness is entirely up to you.

This is why I developed the Live It List™. The Live It List™ is your bucket list for your life. It can be things such as traveling the world, finishing your education, buying a home, having a pillow fight with your kids, donating your time to something you are passionate about or learning a new skill. The list can be endless and there are no right or wrong items to add to it, as long as the things on your list bring you joy and happiness. I developed the The Live It List™ during the worst time in my life. It was a way for me to dig deep and find happiness. You can develop your own list of things you want to experience and things that will make you happy. This will help you keep and find your happiness with money.

So, think of what money means to you and don’t just skim the surface. Dig down a little bit deeper. Dig deep into your emotions and what money brings you. For most of the time when people dig deep about what money means to them it is about happiness and that is really what we all want.