By in Guest Post, Personal Finance, Wealth | 10 comments

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Guest post by Helen Fabe. Helen is a life long expert in personal finance. Helen’s professional employment includes teaching, real estate sales, and philanthropy. While working part time in  real estate, she earned a full time income. Let her article inspire you as she has motivated me for many years. 

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” John Wooden

What does it take to be satisfied?

Is it your possessions, your financial assets, your state of mind, or a combination?

Looking at your current budget, try to imagine how much you will need to LIVE COMFORTABLY as you age. If you have children, they’ll be on their own. Your earnings will slow down. Even if you are in your 20’s or 30’s now, use your imagination and visualize your future.

At each ten year period, take a moment to reflect. Look at what you have accomplished. Dwell on your successes. Use the decades to both applaud yourself, plan for your immediate, and long term goals. And that includes, monitoring your attitude. Be alert to the “glass half empty syndrome”. 

I have a friend, over 80 years old, who has more assets than I do. Her glass is half empty. She is worried about the future. Although she will not be able to spend all of her money, she constantly seeks reassurance that she is okay.

On the other hand, my glass is half full. I can figure out on paper that if I lived to 110 years old, I’ll be alright. I might have to cut back a bit, but my attitude is sunny.

It might sound simplistic, but consider this mindset: Look at your future life as sunny. Life is not a competition, that whomever has the most wins.


More money will not change who you are. Look at those who have less. (Even Jean Chatzky says this in her book, The Difference.)

If this sounds preachy, relax. Life is an attitude. Financial planning creates control and confidence. Wise living, within your means leads to peace of mind. Practice looking at your wealth in life and keep the glass half full.

Follow Barb’s suggestions and  you will be okay. And don’t do something stupid like an IRA withdrawal when it will incur a penalty!

What do you think? Does your attitude impact your your wealth, like my mom implies? What wisdom have you received from your parents over the years?


Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.

Write a positive statement on an index card (and keep it handy) to motivate you towards financial and personal success. Here are a few examples:

  • Today I will not use my credit card.
  • Today I will write down my spending.
  • Today I will focus on my successes.

Visit, the Best Personal Finance Site, for more financial inspiration:

  • Member post: Buy Like Buffet
  • Member post: Money Green Life
  • Member post: Financially Poor
  • Member post: Money Beagle
  • Member post: Canadian Finance Blog


  1. I really wonder if I’m like you’re 80 year old friend. Sometimes my financial goals consume me. It’s an inherent personality trait..once I get my mind on something IT WILL HAPPEN. It’s a great asset but it also can blind me to other things that are also important.

    Even if the house is paid, I know I’ll just jump to kid’s education or retirement savings next. This is a good reminder to constantly try to balance future goals with living life today.

    First Gen American

    October 18, 2010

  2. Hi First Gen, I completely understand (don’t tell anyone, but I have a bit of trouble keeping everything in balance, too). :)
    For many, the challenge of living in the NOW while planning for the LATER is an enduring struggle. Thanks for sharing!


    October 19, 2010

  3. Great Post. Attitude is everything, in finances and in life. Choosing to be happy and content is one of the most important things I have learned in my life.

    Bret @ Hope to Prosper

    October 19, 2010

  4. I have to say, you make great points, and I paused to think about myself here. I tend to have the same pattern that I think First Gen is describing. I too will get my mind focused on something, and won’t let go. Not always, but with expenses I tend to be that way. I think about retirement, then I think abouk kids collge, then emergency funds ramp ups, and on and on. I have a drive to be sure that I’m able to provide for my family and my own needs.

    That said, I totally agree that there comes a time where you have to find satisfaction, and I’m recognizing that need. As I get older, it’s clear to me that there are some things we can control more than I previously thought, and some things that we can control less than I previously thought. Bottom line is you can do your best but can’t control all – or even much, in some cases. It’s good to be happy and dwell on your successes, and perhaps just keep it at that.

    In terms of your life is not a competition comment, it reminds me of a guy who once told me that to him, it’s all a competition and whoever accumulates the most money before passing is the winner. Those comments get funnier each year as I get older:) Life is to enjoy.


    October 19, 2010

  5. Attitude definitely impact how I perceive my wealth. I am saving as much as I can for now and when I exit the rat race, I will work on something I enjoy.


    October 20, 2010

  6. @Squirrelers-I think most of us who maintain a blog have to be a bit obsessive as it requires so mucy effort and discipline. At the risk of sounding redundant, finding the balance “sweet spot” isn’t a one shot activity, but an ongoing effort. WRT to your friend, I’m as competitive as the next person, but keep in mind there is always someone doing “better.” Do you really want the continual mindset that you “don’t measure up?” I don’t think so.
    @Bret-I couldn’t agree more. Attitude is something each one of us can control!
    @Retire-Wealth in “money” gives you life freedom. The satisfaction is up to you! Thank you all for adding to the conversation.


    October 20, 2010

  7. Great post. This begins in the mind no matter how much money you have! There are people who are wealthy and still worry about their financial future – this has to be conquered in your mind!

    Khaleef @ KNS Financial

    October 20, 2010

  8. @Khaleef, So true. Perspective is everything. That’s why I love the “appreciation/gratitude journal.” You write down what you are greatful for or what you appreciate; and that trains your mind to focus on the positive.


    October 20, 2010

  9. I think that attitude has such a huge impact on who we are; the “glass is half full” people are usually much more positive, even when things aren’t so great they can normally find a way to fix it. Where as the “glass is half empty” sort tend to wallow in their disappointments and can’t move forward. I really like your friends attitude!

    Little House

    October 20, 2010

  10. @little house-And the beauty of a half full attitude is that it is attainable for ALL!!!!


    October 20, 2010


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