Most of you know that I have been doing a review on the book The Happiness Project. In continuation with this review, the month of July was all about money. I am going to share with you 4 ways to be happy with the money you have.
One thing most of you may not know is that I did not grow up in a “wealthy” household. I did not get a Playstation for Christmas or a new car when I turned sixteen. As kids we were made to play outside till the sun went down and by the time I got a car of my own I had to get three different jobs to help pay for gas and insurance. I loved my childhood and would not change a thing. I am so thankful for the lessons I learned and the work ethic I developed!
With that said, I have always believed that money does not buy you happiness and I still do, but that does not mean that I do not wish we had more money. Most of us wish we had more money. I would love to be able to pay off mine and my husband’s students loans in this lifetime. I have to be careful when I start wishing for more money because it has a tendency to make me unhappy and sometimes depressed. My husband works VERY hard to provide for me, Charlotte, and Oscar (our dog) so that we have everything we need and I do not want to get sucked down a path that creates unhappiness towards his efforts as a provider.
SO…after reading all about happiness and money it really helped me align my thoughts about our financial situation.
INDULGE IN A MODEST SPLURGE
We all like to be spoiled and this is a great way to do that. Indulging in a modest splurge is a way to spoil yourself and keep your financial status in check. A modest splurge, to me, would include a new pair of shoes from target, a kitchen item from Marshalls, ice cream from the grocery store, or a piece of jewelry from a local boutique. Each item costing less than $30. To me, that is a modest splurge. It does not have to be anything fancy.
Sometimes it can be a measuring cup you have been putting off replacing for several months. It could also be a nicety, something that you do not “need” but have been “wanting” for a while. Also, when you indulge yourself it does not mean going out every weekend to the mall to buy yourself something it means treating yourself to an item every two to three months. That way you are not over spending on things you do not really need.
BUY NEEDFUL THINGS
This one is pretty simple. Buy the items you “NEED”. When people do not buy enough needed items for their house or they over buy it can cause stress. And stress can lead to unhappiness. Buy what you need so you are prepared for that crazy day when you cannot make it to the store and you realize while sitting on the toilet that you are completely out of toilet paper.
This one struck a chord with me. When Gretchen Rubin talks about “Spending Out” she is referring to not withholding items till it is too late to use them. This can be something physical or even an idea. I have a tendency to not use good stationary for the times when I need to send someone a card. I say to myself, “I’ll use this for something special.”. Or I will hold onto a piece of clothing and say, “I’ll wear that sometime soon.”. We all know the right “special” occasion or the “sometime soon” never comes and the item collects dust. Giving your resources, whether it be physical items or money, not only makes someone else happy but it can also make you happy. Give it a try!
GIVE SOMETHING UP
Giving something up is very straight forward. Cut something out of your regular spending habits. Whether it be cable, eating out, or weekly shopping trips. Cut. It. Out. (I bet most you are picturing Joey Gladstone from Full House right now. You are welcome!) It may hurt at first but when you take a look at your bank statement you will have a smile on your face as opposed to a frown and heavy heart. This will be a challenge for me. It will take a lot of thought about what to cut out. I have not find it or rather admitted it yet but I hope to soon.
I will say one last thing I do not believe that money buys you happiness but Gretchen Rubin wrote something very thought-provoking.
“If money is to enhance your happiness, it must be used to support aspects of life that themselves bring happiness to you. Money. It’s a good servant but a bad master.” – Gretchen Rubin