One of my first bosses told me many years ago that I’d have a happier life and a happier career if I didn’t know what the guy in the next cubicle was earning. “Always defend your value,” he said, “but don’t judge your value just by the dollars you take home. If you care about your job, your worth will be self-evident.”

There is an old dichotomy at work here. Most people who worry about money do so because they have to. Yet most of us agree there is much more to life than money. Except for the times my budget has been stressed enough to force me to cut back on important things, I figure many more people have had a harder time making ends meet and providing for dependants. It’s a tough world out there.

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