How to Turn Jealousy Into Contentment – When it feels like everyone else has everything that you want, how to realize that you are more than enough!
Life has a funny way of reminding us about our priorities. A lot of the time, it’s when we least expect it that we get the best lessons. Even as someone who has a pretty good grasp on money, I was thrown off my game. And in the process, I learned a really valuable lesson about budgeting that has nothing at all to do with money.
This lesson has everything to do with how to enjoy what you have and how to turn jealous into contentment. Being content with where you are and working towards a better future are really the foundation of a healthy relationship with money; you aren’t always chasing after the latest and greatest things or lusting over someone else’s life. Instead, you are focused on taking control of your own future and making it into something that you are proud of.
But before you can have your ideal future, you need to find contentment with where you are right now.
The warmer weather is headed our way, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming… life is great!
Right up until you see that picture on Instagram of that one person who’s always traveling…
She’s been in Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Mexico, Disney World… all while you’re stuck on your couch trying to figure out how long the Cheerio has been in your hair.
But it’s the one picture that got to me.
I’ll be honest. It just really bugged me. For all the wrong reasons.
My husband and I had just had a talk about how we couldn’t make vacation work for our family and our budget this year. And I got on Instagram and the first thing I saw was this amazing woman (who I absolutely love and respect) on another freaking vacation.
Related post: 20 Things Frugal People Don’t Do
Girl… that big ol’ green envy monster started rearing its ugly head… and it wasn’t pretty.
Before I knew it, in the blink of an eye, I started to feel a lot of nasty thoughts and emotions completely subconsciously.
I used to be a jealous person. A real brat, honestly! “Why do YOU have that stuff… I want it!” It wasn’t uncommon for me to think that way.
I was always lusting after something more than what I had. Well, they have it, so I want it too!
Be careful what you wish for, right?
My most precious lesson about envy came in a really unexpected place. My husband had finally left his $17,000/year job and got a killer raise at his new job. We had never made this much money and we decided to treat ourselves more than we ever had.
That was the year that I told my husband that I wanted – no… NEEDED – an upgrade on my engagement ring. We’d been married for a while and I was still wearing my sterling silver, 1/16th carat diamond ring that he gave me when we were broke college students.
He didn’t disappoint. He got me a stunning 2 carat ring with halo accent diamonds and more diamonds all the way down and around the band.
It was incredible. It was everything that I ever wanted.
But it didn’t fix the issues that we were having in our marriage.
It didn’t make us less selfish people. It didn’t show us that we needed to stop being brats and grow up.
There was still a hole in my life that I thought could be filled by this ring. The hole that I thought could be filled by selfless spending from my husband was still there.
Months and years later, our issues now worked out, that ring is still beautiful. But do you know which ring I wear all the time? My original engagement ring that cost less than $100.
The nasty green envy monster kept trying to make me angry each time that a friend got engaged or each time I saw an engagement ring pop up on Facebook. It kept trying to convince me that what I had wasn’t enough; that there was a void in my life that could only be filled by having what they have.
I’ve pushed the nasty envy monster down for years and it hasn’t come back since I found peace and genuine happiness with where I am in my life.
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My life is FAR (oh my gosh, SO far!) from perfect! But I know that it’s ok. I know that comparing myself to other people isn’t actually going to help me… it’s only going to hurt me.
So when I felt that big ol’ envy monster come back up with such a vengeance over a picture of a stranger on Instagram, I was shocked. I actually felt myself getting angry at this person!
How DARE you enjoy your life!
What?! What sense did THAT make?!
None. It didn’t make a lick of sense.
It’s so, so, SO easy to compare your life to strangers on the internet. It’s so easy to look and say “but I want that too!” And then weigh yourself down and trudge through life angry that you don’t have your vacation or engagement ring.
But ultimately, that green envy monster is a liar.
Sure, you might deserve a break or nice things. But can you walk into an airport and say “I’d like to buy a ticket to France with all of the Instagram pictures I’ve been lusting over”… no, you can’t.
Related post: Money Saving Hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate
So what can you do?
You can lock that green monster away. Lock it up and throw away the key!
You can look at the pictures of people on the internet and know that not everything is perfect and sunshine and roses.
You can know that right now, there is someone out there wishing that they had everything that you have right now.
But most importantly, you can know that no matter what that mean green envy monster says to you, you are worthy of loving your own life.
Embrace the imperfections and the flaws and work hard toward your dreams and goals. Your dreams are worthy of coming true, but lusting over someone else’s Instagram isn’t going to get you to make those dreams a reality any faster.
I believe in you! Show that green envy monster who’s boss!
Check out some more motivation money posts:
- Money Saving Hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate
- 10 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- How to Save Money When You Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck
- How to Live on One Low Income
- Living on $17,000, What Our REAL Budget Looked Like
- Best Money Saving Apps You Need
- 6 Steps to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget
- The Class That Saved Me $10,800/ Year (& Taught Me How to Cook!)
- Should you take a vacation when you are struggling with money?
- You Should NOT Buy Your Dream House
- What Do You Do When You Get Behind on Bills
- Budgeting Books You NEED to Read
- 10 Reasons Why You Need An Emergency Fund
- How to Feed Your Family on a Budget (so You Don’t Feel Poor)
- 30+ Real Ways to Earn Money From Home
- The 2 Biggest Budgeting Lessons to Make Your Budget Stick
- I Hide Money From My Husband (And That Isn’t Going to Change)
What is your social media weakness: clothes, home decor, food, travel…?
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