Should we just be happy with what we have?

by Kristina Tahnyak on April 16, 2012 · 6 comments

Good Morning DINKS.  I was recently reviewing my 5 Year Personal Plan as well as my Personal Bucket List of things that I want to do in my life.  I suddenly realized that a lot of my personal goals involve improving on existing aspects of my life. It made me start thinking, are we ever really happy with what we have or are we always working towards improving some aspect of our life?


Although I am not married I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a very long time.  I am thankful that I found someone who has shared 12 years of my life with me but unfortunately our relationship is not perfect. I often wonder if I should just be happy that I found someone who loves me or should I want to find my absolute perfect match with a man who shares my personal goals and dreams? I wonder if I should appreciate the man that my boyfriend has become instead of always trying to improve aspects of our relationship.

Car and Home

For some people a fancy car and an expensive home are symbols of status.  The bigger the home and the more expensive the car means that we are making more money. Do you compare your current home value, purchase price, and home decor with your neighbours, co-workers, and friends? Maybe you bought a luxury car because that is just how you roll, or maybe you bought it because your friends also drive a Lexus, a BMW, or a Mercedes Benz. Maybe you bought your home in a neighbourhood that has a certain prestige, or maybe you bought your home in a neighbourhood that offered the best value for your money.  In my opinion a bigger home means a more expensive mortgage payment and more dust to clean, I am definitely not interested.

Investments and Savings

We may compare our Net Worth’s and the value of our investments with those of our friends, family, and co-workers, but why? Maybe we share our investment strategy because we feel that it can really help out our friends and family, or maybe we share the value of our Net Worth because it is an ego trip.  Personal finance is just that, it’s personal, so why do we always feel the need to invest more money, but more stocks, and try to invest in the next big thing?


People often value themselves based on their annual income. Whenever we negotiate our salary with a new employer or we negotiate our salary during our annual employee review with our current employer we may always want to earn a higher income.   Maybe we always strive to have a higher income because we all need money to live, or maybe we always strive to have a higher income because we always strive to have more.  We know that a better job with a higher income is out there and we are always working towards achieving more and earning more money.

Photo basykes

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica S. April 16, 2012 at 11:27 am

Honey, what relationship(s) in your life are perfect? Lol, I have been with my boyfriend for almost four years, and I can tell you we are a long way from perfect. But rather than fixating on trying to be perfect, which will never happen seeing as we are two imperfect people, we revel in our uniqueness, and the fact that we have faults. The real question is, does he make you feel better, want to be better, and is there for you when the day hasn’t gone your way? I’m guessing yes, seeing as how you two have been together for twelve years. Moreover, and in relation to your main point, we should strive to continue improving ourselves because it exposes us to new people and experiences. Great read!

2 GB @ In Budgets We Trust April 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Learning not to want more is difficult. I can’t do it. My biggest motivator in earning a higher salary is fear of getting left behind… I already can’t keep up with my fellow college graduates because I’m making less than they are. I’m trying to be less materialistic about it, but it’s tough!

I totally jive with wanting a smaller house. Cleaning is not something I enjoy doing, so if I have less space to keep clean then it’s more likely to get done.

With your boyfriend, it’s fantastic that you found someone that loves you and shares most all of your goals! You wrote your five year goals with a purpose. If marriage and children (eventually, of course) are still on that list and it doesn’t align with your boyfriend’s future plans, you may need to make a change somewhere so you don’t harbor any extra bitterness or regret. Ya know? I’ve been there, and it made me really upset all the time until it finally worked itself out.

3 Young Professional Finances April 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Wanting more is definitely a hard thing to overcome. I want a bigger house and a new car – not because my friends have them (they don’t actually) but because it’s what would make me happier. However, those are just materialistic things so I have to continuously remind myself that happiness is not found in them.

As for your relationship, I think after you’ve been with someone for that long, you have to be able to talk to them about everything. I’ve been with my boyfriend almost 9 years and we’ve talked frequently about our future goals. If they weren’t the same, we’d have to work on making a compromise so we’d both be happy. It sounds like you need to talk to your boyfriend and see if he’s willing to make compromises to stay with you – it shouldn’t be all his way or all your way.

Good luck. It’s a hard situation to be in.

4 Kristina April 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Wanting more does give us something to work towards and something to look forward to, but it can also lead to disappointment if we don’t achieve our dreams. Definitely stuck between a rock and a hard place.

5 SavvyFinancialLatina April 17, 2012 at 2:28 am

Relationships are definitely not perfect! There are times when I wonder why I married my hubby, and then I watch a movie or something, and realize it’s because I love him.

6 Financial Conflict Coach April 17, 2012 at 9:44 am

Wanting more is not a bad thing. Desire motivates and excites you to improve your situation and skills. It’s only when the “wanting” becomes an obsession or competition with others, increases your debt/stress and takes over your life that it becomes detrimental to your relationships and financial well-being.

Why settle?

Sitting down with your boyfriend- who may not have the same communication style as you- could be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with financial goals. Is he avoidant, collaborative, compromising, cooperating or directive in stressful situations? Each style requires a unique approach.

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