1 Timothy 6:10 KJV states: "For the love of money is the root of all evil". I relied on money and what money could buy to make me happy. But you see, it isn't the having of money that matters, it's the not-having of money that makes the real difference.
I've had jobs where I made $15 an hour and I've had jobs where I've made far more than that. Nothing in my life changed by the increase in salary. Literally, nothing changed. I had a nice place to live, drove a decent car, did the same recreational things. What changed was how I spent the money; foolishly. My house is like the room on Wheel of Fortune that they pan to so the contestants can see the prizes. OOhhhh, AHHH.... Not that my house is filled with treasures, it's filled with stuff. Dumb stuff that I spent money on because I could (and did.. a lot because it made me feel good).
So an increase in salary doesn't mean much, but take away that salary and it's a whole new world. Imagine living on your savings for a year or more. Could you do it? Do you even have savings? How far above your means do you live? What items in your life are worth having if you were to lose your "means"? Ask yourself that question. Look at your life and what's important; it isn't the stuff. It just isn't. Deep down we all know that, but it doesn't stop us from desiring it. It's the people that support you through the rough times that matter, and if you treat people poorly trying to keep up with the Joneses, nobody will be there when the shit hits the fan. So by all means, make yourself feel "good" by spending egregiously-- but pray every day that you don't get to a point where you're selling that stuff for a fraction of the cost at a garage sale because your ivory tower crumbled. It's truly that, just stuff.
Over 50% of divorced couples stated that financial issues were the cause. A study done by the American Psychological Association found over 3/4 of American's suffer from financial stress. It isn't easy to talk about and quite frankly it's embarrassing to admit to, but it happens and when it it does it hits like a sledgehammer. It's uncomfortable to be around other people not experiencing it and who don't understand it. How many times this year I've heard, "It's only $_____." Yes well, only $____ can also keep my lights on and gas in my car, so.....
It humbles a person, especially as an adult, to have to ask for help. I used to be too proud to do that, but this year I had to ask for help and luckily for me, I have wonderful friends and amazing family that supported me through one of the worst years of my life thus far (and not just financially speaking). Being able to pay them back financially is easy, but paying them back for their emotional support is something I don't think I will ever be able to do. I'm rich in the sense that I have that support system, and rich in the sense that I know now what is most important in my life, and that is rich enough for me.
(unless you want to will me your life savings.. I'm not too rich to deny you doing that)