How do you measure your own financial success?

Financial SuccessThis question popped up in an email i got from, asking if I wanted to participate in a survey.

Now normally I just glance over and then delete/archive as my A.D.D. brain can only take so much. But seeing how it was the “Great Male Survey of 2009”, who am I to turn it down? Okay, well in reality they were smart enough to bold out some of the financial questions in the email ;) While most of them got my brain thinking, there was one question that really stood out:

How do you measure your own financial success?

Good one! First, each of us should probably define what “financial success” is. Is it money? Job title? How big your house is (better not be)? Everyone has their own thoughts on it. The first thing that comes to MY mind is net worth and my budget (naturally). Net worth because it gives me an overall financial snapshot of how we’re financially holding up in life. It’s something I can track on a monthly basis and see how successful (or not) we’re doing. I think of my budget next because if I’m sticking to it and it’s working, then I’ve had a successful month ;)

Okay, so keeping in mind what you feel financial success is, here are some of the answers given for the question(along with my own experience on the right of each “answer”):

  1. Against that of my friends. – No way! Well, maybe partial-way ;) What they do doesn’t affect me financially by any means, but I do notice that whenever one buys a new car or a bigger house, I tend to analyze how exactly they were able to do that. Stupid, but true.
  2. Against that of my industry colleagues. Hmmm, nah I don’t really compare anything here. I probably get paid more for what I do at my current job than similar positions in my industry, but that’s just cuz I lucked out and found a perfect fit.
  3. Against that of my father. Wow, good question. I feel like I would maybe down the road when I get into my late 30s or 40s, or probably even when I have kids, but at this moment of time it’s not a thought for me. I do, however, totally listen to his thoughts on personal finance and investing!
  4. Against my own financial goals. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! I 100% believe this is where we should all fall. I say “should” because most of us still keep those previous people in mind whether we want to or not, but that’s just human nature.

Overall, it’s a good idea to track your success through the goals you set up for yourself, not anyone else’s. At least in theory ;) As long as you’re WORKING on bettering your situation though, I say you’re moving in the right direction. Maybe one day the Jones’s will follow you?

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