Last week, I posted a blog explaining why buying stuff doesn’t make you happy. The main reason was that we get used to what we have. For example, when I moved from my condo to my house, my house seemed so big! However, over time I got used to the size of my house. Now my house actually feels small, especially when I compare it to the bigger houses in my neighbourhood. Oh my!
Studies show that happiness does increase as a person makes more money. That is, until they hit an annual salary of about $75,000 US. After that point, there is little correlation between happiness and income. The reason the correlation stops is that the necessities in life are met. A person has enough money to pay for housing, food and clothing.
However, these same studies show that AFTER reaching a $75k salary, money CAN buy happiness. How can that be true? Well, when money is used wisely and for specific purposes. Here’s how spending money can make you happier.
To Save Time
When you spend money to save time, you now have that time to do more of what makes you happy. So, go ahead and spend money to hire someone to do the chores around your house (cleaning, yard work, etc.) or something else that will save you time. The next step is probably the most important – deciding what to do with the time you have saved. Not sure what to do? Then keep reading for some great ideas!
To Connect to Other People
When it comes to relationships, especially as an introvert, quality matters more than quantity. Quality relationships play a huge part in happiness. Spend time with the people who are important to you – your family and your friends. Think about how you could connect better with these important people – a dinner out, talking on the phone, etc. Make sure to support them when they need it and celebrate the joys in life together.
To Buy Experiences
Experiences make us happy before, during and after. Experiences can be anything from concerts, travel, nature walks or even sports. Before our experience, we are busy in the planning stage. This creates anticipation, which brings happiness. Hopefully we enjoy the experience itself. Even if we don’t, we’ll have memories to last a lifetime. It’s these memories that create happiness. Wow, that’s a lot of happiness!
To Learn Something New
There are many benefits to learning something new. First, learning allows us to grow and develop as a person. We can develop our strengths, in order to excel at what we do. Second, learning keeps our minds engaged and active. Finally, when we are learning about something that is interesting to us, it increases our satisfaction with our lives.
To Stay Healthy
If you are healthy, you feel better. When you feel better, it’s easier to be happy. To stay healthy, you need to eat healthy foods and exercise. When it comes to food, that will mean paying more for your food or maybe even taking a cooking class. When it comes to exercise, spend money on the things that will encourage you to stay active. This could be anything from an exercise class to joining a sports club to buying better fitness gear.
To Buy Treats
Sometimes we think that if we love something, we should have more of it. However, according to Gretchen Rubin, having something once in a while makes you happier than having it every day. The reason is that we get used to something if we have it all the time, so the happiness fades. But if we have something once in a while, we can look forward to when we will have it again (there’s that anticipation factor again). Then, once we do have it, we can savour it and really enjoy it.
To Give to Charity
Many studies show that giving makes you happy. Why? It’s simple. When we focus on someone else’s well being, it makes you happier. When we see the impact our generosity has on someone else, it gives us a warm feeling. Giving can come in two forms – giving our money or giving our time. The most important thing is to choose the form that works best for you.
So, when it comes to money, it’s all about how you choose to spend it. Will you choose to buy meaningless stuff or use your money to improve your life?
Until my next blog post, here’s wishing you lots of joy and happiness!