October Resolutions for Money

January 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

I pretty much agree with Gretchen Rubin’s take on happiness: although money can’t buy happiness, it certainly helps. Part of this is because you can spend on things that make you happy. For example, we couldn’t “travel far” in September  without the money to facilitate a trip. Nor could I network in April to help my career – or at least, network as easily: happy hours and events often cost money to attend. In addition, the lack of enough money can be stressful. In my case, having to spend money on debt weighs me down, which certainly reduces happiness.

There is also something to the point Gretchen makes on the above link about spending wisely. If I just spent every dollar I earned, that would not make me happy. I’m not super materialistic, so it would actually contribute to some bad feelings!

So I did spend some time thinking about how money factors into my happiness, and which resolutions I would therefore make. Two of them did come from the original Happiness Project, but the last one is all mine:

  • Indulge in a modest splurge – The thinking is that there are some things that can make you happier by spending the money on them, and – of you have the funds and it is modest – it’s an OK thing to do. If I had to choose right now, my modest splurge would be a new laptop bag, since mine is falling apart, but I am going to wait until October to decide. Plus, I’ll be spending some money during other months – like our adventures in September – which I can also reflect on. 
  • Give something up – Surely there is something I am spending money on that, if I give up, would make my happy because I a. don’t need it anyway and b. would be saving money. 
  • Pay a big chunk of my student loan – I already pay above the minimum, but I think it would be very satisfying to make one even bigger payment in October. There would definitely be a happiness boost here, since I do feel a boost already when I make my payment each month. 

Although every month it’s clear that everyone’s happiness project would be different, I think it’s especially true for the topic of money. We’re all at different levels of income security and savings, and we all have a different relationship to money. This is what my month spent on money looks like, and I do think the resolutions I’ve chosen will facilitate my happiness.

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Entry filed under: Months.

September Resolutions for Finding Adventure Our trip to the West Side Market

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