This is how your money makes you happier. Money is about more than returns and numbers. Money is supposed to help make our lives better. “I wish I had allowed myself to be happier.” This is one of the “five things the dying regrets most” (Bronnie Ware’s bestseller). So it makes sense to ask: How can I spend my money in such a way that it makes me happier?
Understand what money is doing to us and see what we can do with money
Many people feel that money does something to them. They run after the money, it slips between their fingers, it triggers negative feelings. You feel like a victim. Quite different when they realize what good they can do for themselves and others with money. Whoever directs his attention to it discovers new possibilities, has positive experiences and increases his “happiness return”. Of course, you can’t buy happiness. But you can spend it in ways that make you happier. It requires “awareness” and depends on what “makes sense” to you.
Five basic principles of smart spending
1-Buy experiences instead of things
Experiences are particularly valuable; we will still draw on them years later. The attraction of things, on the other hand, decreases as soon as we have them. The average European owns 10,000 things. Do something for your “experience biography”, collect nice experiences.
2-Treat yourself to something special
Habits dominate our everyday life. Routine is the death of any relationship. Getting used to it makes something lose its appeal and our interest wanes. When was the last time you treated yourself to something special? Use the tactics of “little joys” and “shared experiences”.
The feeling that we have enough time has a very positive effect on our satisfaction. People who are pressed for time, however, find it difficult to concentrate on the here and now. In terms of our life satisfaction, time is much more valuable than money. Activities in the flow, time with the children or the partner, are particularly fulfilling.
4-Pay immediately, consume later
We want everything immediately, only pay (pain) later if possible. But while the feeling of happiness in buying something quickly fades, regrets follow, because the bill follows. Turn the tables: pay first and consume later. So the pain is over quickly, and the anticipation remains (free of charge). That means you spend less and get more of it.
5-Invest in other people
That gives us the greatest satisfaction. Whoever gives wins. Giving strengthens our relationships with other people, and we experience that we make a difference. Giving, donating or bequeathing something can be very rewarding—he who gives acts from a feeling of abundance instead of lack.
The five basic principles are from the book “Happy Money” by Elisabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. I use them and a few others in my work.
Of course, these ideas do not replace a systematic asset accumulation according to the asset formula, but they do increase the return of investment. And that without much effort. Pay a little curious attention to your money and discover what good you can do for yourself and those around you with money.