Ask the Readers: What Does Financial Success Mean to You?

By Ashley Jacobs on 12 April 2016 54 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Christie, Gina, and Kelli for winning this week's contest!

There isn't a checklist for financial success that works for everyone. We all have different priorities, whether it's homeownership, college savings, a fully funded retirement ,or a combination of these (and other) financial goals. How one person defines financial success will be different from another person's definition of it.

What does financial success mean to you? What are your priorities when it comes to your finances? Do you think you have achieved financial success? Or do you still have a ways to go?

Tell us what financial success means to you and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For Extra Entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, April 18th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 18th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
     
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
     
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
     
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck! 

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Guest's picture
Tina in NJ

At this point in my life, financial success means knowing how we're going to pay for the big things, like retirement and college, while still being able to afford a few wants, like vacation. It also means not freaking out when an emergency comes along, like a car accident or a health problem.

Guest's picture
Amanda

Financial success means that I manage my money, my money doesn't manage me. For me, I want to spend according to my values. I want to have money to cover a vet emergency or a friend's birthday gift without freaking out. A healthy savings account helps, as does having money invested for the future.

Guest's picture
Guest

It means not living paycheck to paycheck. Having some money stached away for later. And some discretionary money for fun things.

Guest's picture
Jenny D

For me financial success is a daily process of living within my means and finding contentment doing it, paying down my mortgage, and not taking on new debt.

My biggest priority is definitely the mortgage. Another big one is to increase the size of my raised garden beds in order to reduce my food expenses and to invest in supplies to put up produce to last the year.

For the most part, since I am able to be content living a frugal lifestyle, I feel financially successful; however, I really hate having that mortgage looming over me and unfortunately I still have a ways to go before reaching that milestone.

Guest's picture
Mami2jcn

I think financial success is being debt free.

Guest's picture
Julie Wood

Financial Success to me is having money saved for Retirement!

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Monique

Financial success is all about freedom to me, to not be weighed down by stuff or debt and have the chance to try new things while not having to worry about making a ton of money at a stressful job. For my finances, I hope to build up my savings more and continue contributing to retirement. I haven't achieved my perfect idea of financial success yet but am actively working towards it.

Guest's picture
Gina

Owning a home, having retirement savings, and being able to take a vacation every year.

Guest's picture
Elena

Financial success means being able to retire early

Guest's picture
Kellie

For me, it means getting to live the life I want without having to pay several entities to make that happen. My focus is on making my life less expensive rather than on making more money to pay for goods/services that perhaps don't add to my quality of life.

Guest's picture
Amanda D

To me financial success means being able to plan for me and family's future (college and retirement) and still having the freedom to do the day to day things that I want to do and not be crippled by the unexpected surprises. It also means setting a good example of fiscal responsibility to my children and help ensure that they have better opportunities than I did.

Guest's picture
Julie Lundstrom

Financial success to me is being able to make enough to live comfortable. To be able to pay all bills, food, clothing, and have money put away for repairs, things that come up, college, wedding, retirement and more.

Guest's picture
Michael

Financial success to me is being debt free, earning income in a way that I enjoy, and being able to experience life without worrying about constant expenses.

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amanda sakovitz

To me financial success means having the money to do what you want now and enough saved for the future.

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Sarah

To me financial success means having enough money to do the things you love and to live comfortably

Guest's picture
Mary W

When money issues were on the back burner and no longer a constant presence in my mind, then I knew I had achieved financial success. Being prepared for any financial emergency has given me peace of mind and security. Knowing I have monetary security for the future is my version of financials success.

Guest's picture
Natalie

Financial success means not living paycheck to paycheck and having enough saved to be comfortable in retirement. It also means having a 3-6 month emergency fund saved up in case of a job loss. It means living within your means and not going over budget.

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

Financial success for me is staying current on all of my financial obligations, and slowly paying down debt while also saving some money.

Guest's picture
Jeff

being able to retire early and still having enough money to travel extensively.

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Susan P.

Financial success means being able to support my family and have enough for retirement.

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Miss Kim

It means not having to worry about bills and whether you have the money to pay them.

Guest's picture
Louly

I think financial success is finally not living paycheck to paycheck and being at a place where you can make your money work for YOU (e.g. investments, etc).

Guest's picture
Sheryl

Financial success means not being a wage slave. Not owing anyone, having an emergency fund and owning my home. Soon I will be retired with a small pension, some savings and freedom. Freedom is financial success!

Guest's picture
Suz_Glo

Financial success to me means having and regularly contributing to our savings - particularly a retirement fund - and having those savings work for me via investment. This gives me great peace of mind and still allows for being ready to pay for the unexpected and enjoy some perks along the way. But as I grow older, I find I am not interested in more belongings. We are downsizing a bit right now and I am finding it to be a relief to donate or otherwise get rid of stuff.

Guest's picture
Tracy

Financial success is being in control, and not having money (or lack of) control me.

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Renee

Being debt free and staying ahead of track on saving for retirement.

Guest's picture
RedFox

Financial success means having investments that will make money so I don't have to. But it's more of a dream, really, because I'm not willing to study harder or work more hours to achieve it.

Guest's picture
Rebecca Ross

To be debt-free, have enough savings to deal with most emergencies that come up, own your own home (whether big or small), and have plenty of money to help others and give to charity.

Guest's picture
Michael

It means being able to give my family everything they could want and need.

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Donna D

Being able to retire!

Guest's picture
Kim

Financial success to me means not worrying about money -- feeling like I can go shopping and buy whatever I want without wondering whether or not I can afford it. It's more akin to 'safety' than success. I think I'm almost there but that's mostly because I am generally pretty frugal and don't need to buy a ton of things.

Guest's picture
J. Pario

Financial success means having the house paid off so I can start my own business.

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Catseye

Financial success means not stressing over every penny. It means earning enough to cover all of the necessities, afford some of the extras and have enough left over for savings/retirement. In other words, I'm back in school so I can eventually rejoin the middle class.

Guest's picture
Stacey Jones

Financial success is he freedom to work the way I want to work, with whom I want to work, when I want to work and where I want to work, which most importantly, only surrounds the rest of my life plans instead of encumbering them.

Guest's picture
Linda

Financial success means being able to afford the necessities without needing to worry and being debt free.

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Kelli

To me, financial success is freedom: the freedom to live your life the way you want without being weighed down by debt and worry about money. For me that means having enough money to travel regularly. I haven't quite reached my goals on that yet, but I'm working on it!

Guest's picture
Pam

It means being able to retire comfortably.

Guest's picture
Christie

Financial success is such a loose idea. I think having enough to live comfortably, enough to be generous to those in need, and enough to have a little fun with is financial success. Does it mean getting everything you want? No. Having some goals and things to look forward to is good, but it also reminds us that we don't need everything we want!

Guest's picture
Susan Smith

Financial success means knowing we have enough money to send our children to college, retire comfortably and being able to travel too.

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Ernest S.

Financial success to me means actively saving for both the long-term (retirement, emergency savings, etc.), while still enjoying the moment now (via vacations, trips, etc.). It's a way of life, and is more of a journey than a single decision or change.

Guest's picture
Guest

Financial success means being able to live where you want, have the things you want, and live comfortably while still being able to keep a healthy savings account.

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April

It means not worrying about bills and debt!

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Erin

Having enough money in the bank for a rainy day.

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Ashley

It means being able to buy the things that I want without having to put it on my credit card and make payments on it.

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Michelle D.

Financial success is being able to travel, enjoy good food and basically just enjoy all life has to offer without having to worry about money!

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Liz

Being able to retire early!

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Kat

Financial success means being able to afford to pay for my children's college, cars and other expenses without having to worry.

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Happy Love

Pay your bills, not carry debt, and save for the future.

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Rich

Financial success means not having to worry about money. If the car needs new tires, you have the funds to buy them. An emergency fund would cover the unexpected problems.

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Laurajj

Financial success to me is being debt free, and having a savings to fall back on if needed. Looking ahead for your retirement and knowing you will be okay!

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Lynda

financial freedom means being able to pay for what you want without worrying about every last dollar

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Evie

Financial success to me means being able to afford all my bills and daily necessities with ease.

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C Hui

It means not worrying about money

Guest's picture
Thomas Murphy

financial success means not having to worry about money and having freedom.