THE QUESTION IS: HOW?
Does money serve you? Does money make you happy? How do you use your money? Does money really buy happiness? All those questions are important. And if you don’t know how to answer, that’s fine. I have the answer for you. Why science studied the question, and was able to determine that YES, money buys happiness. If you use it correctly.
REACH YOUR GOAL
Each person has a standard of living they want and require. With which they feel calm, happy. You don’t have to be a multi millionaire for money to make you happy. According to studies by Purdue University and the University of Virginia, most people find emotional peace in North America with a range of $60,000 to $75,000 a year, and $95,000 for satiety. Above this level, it is nothing more than luxuries without which life can still be very pleasant.
Basically the result of these studies is obvious: Reaching those income levels allows peace of mind and security. Relieves stress related to bill payments, rents, basic needs such as food, water, electricity, gas etc … Provides a sense of financial freedom, resulting in being able to enjoy life instead of wondering how I am going to survive until the end of the month. On the other hand, low income is a factor of personal pressure that makes any unplanned event can be the end of life as they know it. It can be a medical emergency, a divorce, a car accident, a house fire. All life risks associated with major expenses are hard weights to bear without financial freedom.
The Journal of Public Health published results of a very interesting study about the correlation between low income and depression. It shows that by achieving financial freedom, people lower their long-term risk of mental illness versus low-income people.
What does that mean then? If you have already reached that average level of $60-95,000 per year and you are not feeling happy, you need to learn how to use your money. It is important to change your mindset (way of thinking) and read about money management. Because at that level you should feel liberated, less stressed, and happier than the average lower or middle class.
If you still do not reach that income level, the first step is to know your financial numbers. It is important to know how and how much one can spend per month. Have a fixed, variable, and savings plan in order to establish financial security adapted to your income level. Having savings for emergencies can lower your stress level considerably, an important step towards inner peace and happiness.
Now, you also need to know how to spend. And there are some examples of expenses that can fill you with happiness.
EXAMPLES OF HOW TO SPEND YOUR MONEY
1- Spend on your loved ones
It’s been proven by Oxford, Harvard, and a range of different studies over the years: People who spend on family, friends, and charity are happier. And being present at the moment that the person(s) receiving the gift/donation and being able to witness the happiness caused by it increases your level of happiness even more.
Have you given a gift to a relative? Maybe a child? Did you see that smile on his face? How did it make you feel? Whether it is something that changes one’s life, or simply a detail that means a lot to the other person, that makes them feel loved, important, even safe at times, is something that will make you happy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just the gesture is sometimes enough to fill you up and fill her with happiness.
Improving the lives of others will improve yours.
2- Spend on experiences
If you read Are you a smart spender? You know that spending on things will not fill you with happiness. But creating memories will. Spending your money on trips, experiences, unforgettable moments will fill you up much more than any phone, car or house. Why?
- It create connections. The people who share the experience with you, whether they are people who accompanied you or people you met during said experience, you will feel a special link forming between you and them. And you know that it is human to want to get closer to others.
- An experience is prepared. Several studies show that the preparation time, the anticipation of the event, represents almost 50% of the best memories of the experience. In addition, they also show that throughout the anticipation time your level of happiness rises dramatically until the beginning of the experience.
- Memories are usually even better than what you actually lived through. People usually retain the best moments of an experience and unconsciously enhance them in their brain, making them even happier and more nostalgic when they are remembered.
- The impact lasts much longer than buying a material thing. (see Are you a smart spender?)
3- Buy lost time
Here many are going to think “what is he talking about”? Well, let me explain: Of all that money can buy, time is the most valuable. Professor Elizabeth Dunn, writer of the book “Happy Money: The Science of Happiness Spending” says the following:
“Don’t buy a car a little fancier to have heated seats during those two hours of transit to your office. Buy a spot close to work so that you can use that final hour of daylight to kick a ball in the park with your kids”.
That is an example. But you can’t just buy that time in traffic. How much time do you spend a week cleaning your house? How much time do you spend grocery shopping? There are a multitude of examples of tasks that you could avoid by paying a service or a person to do it for you. All of this is possible. By having a spending plan. The more time you free up in your schedule, the more time you can dedicate to people and activities that will fill you with happiness. It doesn’t mean being lazy, it means knowing how to drive:
- Your time
- Your money
And this has no cost.
4- Your perception
In short, your happiness depends on how you perceive your life, your money, your time, your goals etc … Happiness is lived according to your mindset. What is the story you tell yourself about your finances? Is it positive, or does it limit you in your dreams and goals? If your story doesn’t make you happy, change your life.
You have to know how to be grateful in life. The more grateful you are, the happier you will be. Also read: Open your mind, fill 6 areas of your life to be happy
Related: What is the meaning of being rich