My 100th Post: If Money doesn’t buy Happiness, than you are spending it Wrong

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I wouldn’t have worked as a financial advisor or be writing a financial blog if I didn’t believe that most people have a happiness number.  Your happiness number will be adjusted over time based on changes in your lifestyle choices.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to recognize that happiness is a state of mind. I have to admit that after a modest level of income, there isn’t really any evidence to suggest that people’s happiness increases with their wealth.  Money is not going to turn an unhappy life into a happy one. Some people are unhappy no matter how much money they have. However, I have also seen where spending money that you don’t have can turn a happy life into an unhappy one. Whether you are loving life or hating it, I do believe that it could really depend opon how you are spending your money!

“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.” This insightful bit of personal financial wisdom has been credited to entertainer Sophie Tucker, comedian Joe E. Lewis, comedienne Fanny Brice, actress Mae West and many others.

Some tips on buying some happiness:

Tip 1 – Buy experiences instead of things

Who we are as individuals is the sum of our experiences not the sum of our possessions. The joy of buying something new tends to deteriorate over time but creating memories last a lifetime. Sharing those experiences with family or friends can make you even happier.

Tip 2 – Many small pleasures might be better than a few big ones

Will you be happier saving money for a big-ticket item like a luxury car or indulging in small things like going to a spa or out to dinner with friends. You may be surprised at how many small pleasures can add up to a happier lifestyle.

Tip 3 – Spend on others and not yourself

There is a lot of merit to the saying “it is better to give than receive” The holiday season is just around the corner. Isn’t seeing the reaction of family & friends opening a gift that is thoughtful and unexpected, priceless?

Tip 4 – Rent a dose of happiness

You can enjoy something without having to own it. Rent a cabin hideaway if you enjoy the great outdoors. If you love the thrill of driving a luxury sports car, rent one occasionally or sign up for a weekend racing experience.

Tip 5 – Before you buy think about all the downsides

Often people buy with rosy colored glasses, they only see the good buying points and forget all the shortcomings. For example; some people think that owning a truck and a large trailer would be a great way to see the countryside. What they don’t see is having loud neighbours at camp sites, buzzing insects, traffic jams and vehicle breakdowns. Happiness is often in the small details.

 

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During my career as a financial advisor, I helped many clients find their happiness number. For some it was buying their first home, for others it was seeing their children graduate or get married will little or no debt. In my own case, my happiness number allowed me to retire early and spend more time with family & friends.

I am very fortunate to go south every November to play golf with my buds. We started 13 years ago with a total of 8 golfers, we now have 20 and there is a waiting list to join our group. We have so much fun that one of my house mates made a surprise comment. ” I would have to be on my death bed,  for me to miss this golfing trip” (Money well spent!!!)

When you think about it, money has no real value except that it can be exchanged for goods & services that we need and want. In my humble opinion, the whole purpose of having wealth is to use it as a tool to create a life you desire, enhance the lives of people you care about and hopefully leave a legacy that you are passionate about.

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8 thoughts on “My 100th Post: If Money doesn’t buy Happiness, than you are spending it Wrong

  1. Congrats on the miletone post. This blog is spot on. I remember a boss of mine when I was in a sales job that I hated told me, “Even if you hate your job, at least you’re making money.” That’s when I realized that money itself does not buy happiness and the person with the most toys doesn’t win. We all define and achieve happiness differently, but for me, it’s the opportunity to use my hard work to gain additional experiences and make a positive impact on other people’s lives – whether they are family members or not.

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    • Thanks Chris, for me, it was starting my own business so that my wife could quit her job and stay home to look after our kids. There were many days that I wish that I wasn’t the boss and only worked from 9 to 5 but it was worth it in the long run. Two great kids and a very happy wife!!!

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  2. Congrats on your 100th post! I have to agree that money doesn’t buy happiness. When I look back at my best memories,none of them involved money. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rico, I’ve pondered this question for some years. I’ve had the privilege of living at both ends of the financial spectrum. Being poor, financially, is a privilege because it rewards you with many attribute that money won’t buy you.
    Much of what you have written, sums up beautifully, the answers to my thoughts.
    I’m happier being wealthy. I takes away many of the pre-occupations I spend time thinking about, rather than focussing on my family and friends.
    In short, having money allows me to be happy by having more quality time with my daughter, partner, family and friends.
    Thank you very much for your thoughts and advice.
    Best wishes to you and Congrats on your 100th article.

    Liked by 1 person

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