Living In The Present-Four Ways To Financially Enjoy Today

In Michael Singer’s book “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself”, he talks about a blind person walking down the street with the use of a cane.  The cane taps from side to side.  They’re not trying to find where they should walk; they’re trying to find where they shouldn’t walk. To stay present in the moment, enjoy their journey and reach their destination, they are tapping the extremes of what could harm them; and steering clear.

When it comes to money, many times what keeps us from living in the present moment and enjoying the journey are the extremes of too much or too little money. As too much or too little is a subjective number, it is up to each of us to do the self-reflective work.

Too Much: The Illusion of Abundance

Having too much money might seem like a blessing, but it can also lead to complications. Excess wealth can create a false sense of security and encourage overspending on unnecessary items. This can lead to a lifestyle that may not be sustainable but also disconnected from what truly brings happiness and fulfillment. Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean it aligns with your values or brings lasting happiness.

Another challenge is the sense of purpose. Many individuals struggle with finding meaning in their lives once a certain level of wealth is met. The absence of financial challenges can lead to boredom and a lack of direction. Philanthropy and social engagement are common solutions, but even these can be fraught with difficulties, including the challenge of ensuring that contributions are used effectively and ethically.

Moreover, the pursuit of wealth can become an all-consuming goal, detracting from the quality of life and the ability to enjoy the present moment. People with abundant resources might also experience anxiety about maintaining their wealth. A study published in the Journal of Economic Psychology notes that wealthy individuals often experience high levels of financial stress due to the fear of losing their wealth and the constant need to manage their assets effectively making wise investments, or how they are perceived by others in social circles.

Too Little: The Struggle to Thrive

On the other hand, struggling with too little money can create constant stress and anxiety. Financial insecurity can lead to a preoccupation with basic needs, such as housing, food, childcare and healthcare. This relentless focus on survival can overshadow other aspects of life, making it difficult to enjoy simple pleasures or pursue long-term goals.

Financial strain can also impact mental health, leading to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and hopelessness. According to the American Psychological Association, financial stress is a significant factor contributing to mental health problems among low-income individuals. The constant pressure to make ends meet can rob individuals of their peace of mind and their ability to be present in daily life.

People with limited financial resources may feel marginalized and disconnected from society. This exclusion can affect their ability to build networks and access opportunities that could help them improve their situation. The stigma associated with poverty further exacerbates this problem, making it even more challenging for individuals to seek help and support.  It is challenging to enjoy the laughter of your child, or the beauty of a sunset, when you are struggling to make ends meet.

Four Strategies for Living in the Present


Gratitude will shift your focus from what you lack to what you have. Regularly reflecting on the positive aspects of your financial situation, no matter how small, can foster a sense of contentment and reduce the urge to seek fulfillment through material wealth.

Mindful Spending

Mindfulness in financial matters involves being fully aware of how you spend and save money. This starts with creating an intentional spending plan that reflects your income and prioritizes essential expenses. Ask yourself “How much is enough”.  Create a non-judgmental feedback loop.  What is working and what needs to be revisited. By being intentional with your money, you can avoid the pitfalls of both excess and insufficiency.

Embracing Simplicity

Simplicity can be a powerful tool in achieving financial balance and living in the present. As we embrace quality over quantity and focus on experiences rather than material possessions, we move toward living in today. This shift in perspective can reduce the desire for more and help you appreciate the richness of the present moment. Find joy in simple, everyday experiences. Whether it’s a walk in nature, a meal with loved ones, or a hobby you enjoy, these moments can provide profound fulfillment at minimal expense.

Set Meaningful Life Goals

Look at what you value.  What is important about living a life without regrets.  These goals may have financial implications or not.  Having them will provide a sense of direction and purpose.  You will have a metric for the daily decisions you make as you stay focused on what matters most.

Navigating the path of living in the present involves knowing what it feels or looks like to hit an inflection point, or harmful extremes.  Some people may have these extremes thrust upon them, but you are not a victim of your circumstances and can choose a different path.  Picture the cane mentioned above.  What you have in your hand is control of your thoughts and actions, what you put your energy into, what self-talk you listen to, and how you handle the daily challenges you find yourself in.

The financial realm between having too much and struggling with too little requires a mindful approach and a commitment to balance. By practicing gratitude, intentional spending, embracing simplicity, and setting meaningful life goals, you can achieve a financial equilibrium that allows you to live fully in the present. Remember, true wealth lies not in material possessions but in the ability to learn from, appreciate and enjoy life as it unfolds.

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