So we know we’re probably never going to own a house and we’re not even salty about it at alllll. But apart from that, how do we know if we have ‘enough’ wealth?
“We know that having a good income from which we can meet our basic needs is really critical to feeling financially secure,” says Dan Auerbach, Psychotherapist with Counselling Psychologists Sydney, “Beyond that, many people get caught in a trap where they become caught in the excitement of earning more and spending more.”
“Some people may never be relieved of that nagging feeling they don’t have enough, possibly despite achieving great wealth, believing that they would be satisfied if they could only earn ‘X’ or own ‘Y’.”
In a world of perfect Instagram accounts and social media influencers, how could we help but let it warp our perception of our own possessions and savings?
“Social media has provided unparalleled reach for influencers, as well as famous pop stars and actors flaunting wealth and luxury,” explains Dan, “This unprecedented access into their private lives can trick us into feeling like we are with our relatable buddy.”
“It can skew our expectations of what is achievable and make us feel that ordinary life is somehow less-than.”
The rise of FOMO that has come from the impossibly luxe lives splashed all over Instagram for our voyeristic pleasure makes us feel like it might actually be the norm. Like somehow that’s what we should be aiming for. We so easily forget that actually, a lot of influencers are given these things for free, and that the wealth of celebrity is actually really not usual.
But it’s not only social media affecting our perception on what we have. According to Dan we’re comparing ourselves to what we see around us irl too.
“Comparing ourselves is a natural and built in part of our bonding and grouping behaviour. While it’s totally natural to compare ourselves to others, if we lack security in our own worth or identity, or in the security of our relationship ties, this feeling of being less-than may feel more pronounced.”
So how do we start becoming more self-aware and satisfied with what we have in our bank? Because really if we can afford to rent a place to live, pay the bills, eat and occasionaly do fun things because we’re not robots, isn’t that more than enough?
The key may be to make a realistic financial plan and keep a close eye on your progress.
“If you map your expectations of earnings and investment and are able to stick close to your plan or make headway towards those goals, you’re likely to feel satisfied,” says Dan.
So maybe log off, and pay attention to what you actually have?