When you grow up poorer than the average family, money is often discussed.

“No we can’t afford this.”

“No you can’t buy that now.”

It’s often a struggle of doing what’s right for the future or being happy now. They say money does not buy happiness, but I can tell you many times how I have been happy with having the latest iPhone or a new pair of shoes. So yes, money can buy happiness. The bigger issue is being content with what you have. If we could all learn that habit, we would all be rich with what we have in life. HOWEVER, due to the influences of other people around us and non-stop advertising, we indulge. And some more than others.

Latest example, my friend Mark showed me a post circulating on Facebook sharing Dunkin Donut’s new Smackin’ Bacon, which is exactly what it is. A bag of bacon. So the next morning, I decided to go get one since Dunkin Donut is my deadly sin (and there logo has pink in it!). And lo and behold, they taste great. They say it has 8 half slices but I ate them so fast that I’m not sure. I did share one with my friend Kyle. So there a spent $2.50 on a small bag of bacon. I could’ve probably went to Kroger and bought an entire bag of bacon for the same price.

And these are the choices that I make that leads me to coping with How To Be Financially Happy.

YNAB (YOU NEED A BUDGET)

Several years ago, I signed up for the free version of YNAB (You Need A Budget). As smart as I think I am, I had trouble using it. Budgeting money for something in the future seemed difficult. So I gave up. And then two years ago, when my income become more steady, I decided to try again and I haven’t stopped. I was able to save up an emergency fund and budget out at least one month ahead. Below is a sample picture from their website:

Everything is editable and personalized, which is exactly what I think everyone needs. And if you don’t have enough for something, you can take from another budget. This is reality. Sometimes things happen and you need to spend more or less. And they even have free workshops to help you with your other goals (saving for a trip, paying off debt). Yes the program does cost some money but it has definitely been worth it.

So try it out and see how it works for you. There’s a learning curve so I would say use it for at least 6 months before giving up. Good luck and much financial happiness to you too!