Write this down: No matter how much money we might acquire it is not a guarantee that we actually Lived life.
You don’t want to be rich—you want to be happy. Although the mass media has convinced many people that wealth leads to happiness, that’s not always the case. Money can certainly help you achieve your goals, provide for your future, and make life more enjoyable, but merely having the stuff doesn’t guarantee fulfillment.
So here’s the point I am getting at… We all have within us the unique ability to build something that will long outlast our time on this earth. Things that can offer us true peace, as we grow older — and even outlast our very earthly existence. This is based off of the simple saying “we can’t take it with us”… No matter how much wealth you have the simple fact still remains you can’t take it with you!
Rich people and nations are happier than their poor counterparts; don’t let anyone tell you differently.” But they note that money’s impact on happiness isn’t as large as you might think.
If you have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over your head, increased disposable income has just a small influence on your sense of well-being.
On the other hand, if your family earns $70,000 a year, $5,000 may be a welcome bonus, but it won’t radically change your life.
So, yes, money can buy some happiness, but as you’ll see, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. And there’s a real danger that increased income can actually make you miserable—if your desire to spend grows with it.
But that’s not to say you have to live like a monk. The key is finding a balance between having too little and having too much—and that’s no easy task.
Now here’s what we can take with us.
The time that we spend with our friends or family, each time we take throughout the day not only to give, but also to show another how to provide for themselves. When we take the time to slow down a bit during our busy day and simply take in the moment.
These are just a few of the things that can have a lasting effect. Increasing your income is important, but do yourself a favor and don’t neglect the “smaller” things in life. It takes all things — both big and small — to say you’ve truly experienced a well lived life.
To further improve your relationship with money, keep these guidelines in mind:
Prioritize. Spend on the things that make you happiest. There’s nothing wrong with buying things you’ll use and enjoy—that’s the purpose of money. If you’re spending less than you earn, meeting your needs, and saving for the future, you can afford things that make life easier and more enjoyable.
Stay healthy. There’s a strong tie between health and happiness. Anyone who’s experienced a prolonged injury or illness knows just how emotionally—and financially—devastating it can be. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Financially, psychologically, and socially, keeping up with the Joneses is a trap. You’ll always have friends who are wealthier and more successful in their careers than you. Focus on your own life and goals.
Simplify. The average Joe believes that materialism is the path to happiness—but the average Joe is wrong. Research shows that materialism actually leads to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. By simplifying your life and reducing the amount of Stuff you own (or want to own), you’ll save money and be happier.
Help others. Altruism is one of the best ways to boost your happiness. It may seem counter-intuitive (and maybe even a little self-serving), but donating to your church or favorite charity is a proven method for brightening your day.
Embrace routine. Emerson wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” but there’s evidence that some consistency is conducive to contentment. In Happier (McGraw-Hill, 2007), Tal Ben-Shahar recommends building routines around the things you love: reading, walking, gaming, knitting, whatever. Because it can be difficult to make the time for these activities, he argues that we should make rituals out of them. If you enjoy biking, make a ritual out of riding to the park every evening, for example.
Pursue meaningful goals. The road to wealth is paved with goals, and the same is true of the road to happiness. But for a goal to be worthwhile, it has to be related to your values and interests—it has to add something to your life.
The bottom line is;
if you can’t be content, you’ll never lead a rich life, no matter how much money you have. The key to money management—and happiness—is being satisfied. It’s not how much you have that makes you happy or unhappy, but how much you want. If you want less, you’ll be happy with less. This isn’t a psychological game or New Age mumbo-jumbo, it’s fact: The lower your expectations, the easier they are to fulfill—and the happier you’ll be.
That’s not to say you should lead an aimless life of poverty; quite the opposite, in fact. But most people confuse the means with the ends. They chase after money and Stuff in an attempt to feel fulfilled, but their choices are impulsive and random. Their “retail therapy” doesn’t address the root cause of their unhappiness: They lack goals and an underlying value system to help guide their decisions.