Money is usually the main reason one goes to work. While money cannot buy happiness, it plays a vital role in our lives. For every employer, it is important to keep employees satisfied. However, the level of satisfaction depends not only on the size of the salary, but also on the expectations, the financial literacy, and the financial discipline of the employee themselves.

Here are examples of two employees - same age, gender, skills, and salary:

Employee A is a person who is satisfied with an average standard of living. He lives in an average suburb house with an affordable mortgage, drives an average-size car, married, with two or three kids, non-smoker, the family goes once per year on vacation as most people do, and he/she dedicates most of the free time to kids and family.

Employee B has chosen to drive a shiny expensive car worth a small fortune, lives in a rented penthouse apartment in the city, family life can wait so he/she enjoys night life, and gambling is his/her passion. His/her salary is never big enough, so he/she decides to earn extra money on the stock exchange, but it does not really go well, actually he/she has to write off some losses.

While employee A manages to save some money for kids education and for retirement, B lives with debts.

Do you think that employee A and employee B are both equally satisfied by their salaries, their job, and their life in general? As an employer, it is my duty to recognize candidate B during the job interview and to advise the team leader not to hire person B, no matter how good the candidate could be for the job.

This is not because it will hurt my ego when the employee new shiny car parks next to my 12-year old car in front of the office. It is because we are too different personalities to work together, and because I found my life mission in making people happy. Sadly, I do not possess the power to make everyone happy, and when I recognize such people, I just do not lose neither theirs, nor my time. As you have probably guessed already, I have built a team of people who live a simple life, so do not expect to see our story filmed.

I hired my first colleagues in early 2002. While we have our own currency in Bulgaria, at that time it was common salaries in the IT sector to be negotiated and paid in US dollars. This was just three years after a deep financial crisis in here, with hyperinflation, and the Bulgarian lev was not attractive as a paycheck currency. After the crisis, the Bulgarian lev was actually tied to the euro (and it still is) at rate 1.95 per euro. While the US dollar was performing well against the euro till October 2002, after that the dollar started to lose ground and to depreciate.

One day I came to the office and heard colleagues discussing which money exchange bureau was giving better rates, as depreciation of currency they were getting paid in was making them worry. I do not want anything to bother my colleagues, and I created a rule effective the same day: I have settled my own rate for the US dollar, much better than the official one, and salaries were paid in Bulgarian levs since, at that better rate. As the US dollar kept depreciating, the rate imposed by me grew slowly from +10% to +60% over the years. In total, I spent several million dollars extra, compensating my colleagues for the weak dollar, but it saved their time and a lot of worries. The US Dollar managed to rebound during past five years. When sometimes it is close to a parity with the euro, I remind my colleagues that if the dollar/euro rate overpasses 1/1 in favor of the US dollar, they will start getting their salaries in US dollars again.

As I already stated, the duty of boss is to create a safe place for his team, and remuneration should not be an exclusion of it.