It’s all in what you make of it, really. As I am sure you are aware of, there are plenty of people who live below the ridiculously low poverty line (both here in the U.S. and the rest of the world) that are very happy; and there are also incredibly wealthy folks who are miserable as all hell. Money does not make a single person happy. You may think it does, but it doesn’t. Because if you are not reasonably happy with yourself in the first place, all money does it try to plug a hole that will eventually open up again – leaving you unhappy once more. Many people without money make due however they can; by sharing bedrooms, driving beat-up old cars, not ever going out to eat. But that doesn’t mean they are living poorly at all. They are living within their means, which for some actually means they are comfortable with where they are in the social strata.
Now granted, you could be living below your means AND be living poorly, for sure. By never spending a penny on anything fun in life, you could be living well below your means but not having a great time. We all work so we can pay our bills…and hopefully have a little fun along the way. Being a penny-pincher to the point of never doing anything can be just as sad as not having the money to do those things in the first place – you have to find a balance between “your means” and “your lifestyle”.
For those living the high life on credit (like I used to do), I have advice for you – stop. Just stop. Life can be quite fun when you live within your means! You don’t need to make a ton of money in order to have a comfortable life. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to use money to fill some sort of a hole…and you don’t need to fall for it. There is nothing wrong with making a lot of money, so please don’t take what I am saying as meaning that. But having to “make money” as the goal to make you happy and to lead a comfortable life is, well, a mistake. No matter your income, you can usually live a content life while living within your means. It does not mean you have to live poorly…not by any stretch.
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