What can I do to improve my financial situation? What makes you happy?

Lately I've been thinking about money...what I want to buy, what I want to save. I have elaborate plans to pay off my (itty bitty) credit card debt, (moderate) car loan and (intimidatingly massive) school loan. I have elaborate plans to build up a Suze Orman approved 8-month emergency fund (that one takes about 8 years!). I also have elaborate plans to take grand vacations and fill my new apartment with lovely, beautiful things.

So, over the weekend, I kept asking myself, "what can I do to improve my financial situation?" I work two jobs. I share expenses with a roommate. I track what I spend and the simple act of writing it down keeps me accountable and makes me less likely to spend money on things I don't need or really want. I have investments. I contribute to my 401(k).

Yesterday I realized - yes, it took me a few days to realize this - that someone in my situation might consider finding a new job. Although I just got a decent raise, I don't make very much money, especially when compared to the salary I had last year. That's why I work 2 jobs and that's why I worry about money. I didn't think about it though, because I love my job. I love the people I work with. I love the location and environment. I even love my second job.

When I realized that, I realized the real question I should be asking myself is, "what makes me happy?" The happiness of loving my job and where I am in my life even is well worth the minimal stress I deal with every now and then when I start worrying about money.

Money doesn't make me happy. That high-paying job I had last year made me so miserable I left voluntarily and made do without any source of income for months. I'm not so naive to think I don't need money. It's a necessary evil. Now when I think about money I think I'm going to try to put it in that context.

What makes you happy? How do you balance your financial needs with your emotional needs? And, okay, I still want to know...what CAN I do to improve my financial situation, but still be happy and remain true to myself?