Money had me fooled for many years. I agreed when The Beatles sang “money can’t buy me love,” but at the same time, there was always something dramatic about gaining or losing the stuff.

I’ve been penniless a few times, and it’s always been my fault. It’s not like I overspent. Rather, I’d have a vision for the future and would pour in effort and dollars until I had lost it all…and then some.

But being broke didn’t make me unhappy.

I’ve also had a comfortable level of finances, with which I could buy all kinds of things without much concern or hesitation.

But having wealth didn’t appear to cause any additional happiness either.

Today, I recognize that my inner joy does not come from the balance in my bank account. It comes from balancing my need for being entrepreneurial and risk oriented with meeting the responsibility of my financial obligations.

I’ve come up with three questions that help me keep my head on straight when it comes to making comfortable, prudent choices, reducing angst for me and those around me.

1. How does my financial status influence the choices that are important to me today?

2. How does my financial status today affect the people I love and care about?

3. Based on my responses to 1 and 2, do I wish to put more personal focus on accumulating money, or is this the time to play more with what I have?

My honest answers to these three questions “can’t buy me love,” but they can help me fine-tune my peace of mind.