Money does make life easier and more comfortable. It allows us to fulfil our needs and wants. We can have a good happy life if we are financially comfortable. But how does it give us happiness? Is having money all we need to be happy? We all want to earn more money and when we get it, we feel happy. But as per new research, making money does not make one happy but how one spends it is the key to happiness. People are happy spending on experiences, things bought and even spending on others. Many people feel that even after becoming rich or having lot of wealth, they are not content in life and seem to be less happier than before when they were not well-off. It could be because they are not spending it the right way.
5 ways to spend money and maximize happiness –
Spend on experiences
The book ‘Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending’ offers interesting insights into happiness and spending money. Based on research, it says that people are happier when they spend on experiences they love be it travelling or on a dinner with friends rather than buying the new big screen TV or smartphone. People look forward more to going for a vacation with friends rather than buying a material thing. The vacation also gives you good memories that you can cherish. You are not going to have too many cherished memories when you buy a diamond necklace. Experiences need not be based on spending alone. For example, Evan Spiegel the CEO of Snapchat got an offer from Facebook to sell Snapchat for $3 billion dollars to Facebook. He declined it even though the money was really good. He denied it because he was already wealthy and did not need more money. Running the technology company and using his money for that was a more important pursuit for him.
Give, Give, Give
People feel good when they give money for a good cause that is close to their heart. It is good to donate to charities, orphanages or other causes that help mankind. People across countries and income levels feel healthier and wealthier when they spend money on others. You will feel good when you see your money being used to help others who are in need.
Splurge on smaller pleasures than one big bang purchase
If you buy the latest luxury car, you will feel happy but that is only for a short while. Instead if you use the money to make smaller indulgent purchases like a spa visit, stay at a luxury resort and going for dinner with family in a high end restaurant, you will feel more happy and feel good for a longer time. It is also important to hold back. You know you can treat yourself to gourmet chocolates and pastries everyday but having them every day will diminish their value to you. Instead having them once in a way will make them more special and you will feel happy when you are indulging in them.
Spend to have more time for yourself
Do you spend a lot of time commuting? Are you busy the whole day doing chores like driving your kids to school or cooking and cleaning such that you have no time to spend quality time with your spouse, parents or children and feel guilty? If that is the case, you should hire some help or take an alternate way for commuting that maybe expensive but leaves you less stressed and gives you more time in your hands. You may buy a home closer to your workplace (or rent) even if you can afford a smaller one but it will give more time in your hands. If you spend money to keep yourself in a healthy frame of mind and be connected with family, you will be happier.
Invest in yourself
You will be more content and happy if you use money to develop yourself as a person. You can improve your health by joining a fitness program or having healthy food or organic foods. These cost money but you can afford it and as the saying goes -‘ Health is Wealth’. You can learn new skills like learning new languages or musical instrument or a dance form. If you are working, you can invest money to upgrade your skills or getting a diploma or degree in a subject that will help career progression. As a businessman, you can invest in attending seminars, conferences, travelling to potential markets to assess profitability. All these things cost money and using money to do any of these things will make you happy.
If you really want to buy yourself a more fulfilling life, it’s not how much money you earn that matters, but how you spend it. Of course you should ensure that you are financially secure, have no debts or debts that you can manage and then spend to be happy and have a more fulfilling life.