Let’s be real. Money itself does not directly bring you happiness. Buuuuut, I believe money can indirectly affect your happiness levels, because I know of a few ways in which money has improved my own happiness. What does this mean Tara?!
It’s not how much you have, but how you use it!
You should already know by now that I don’t believe in your typical career success. Aiming for a job that provides you accolades and money but you hate, is not success. Not at all! It doesn’t matter what you do, if you can afford a lifestyle that you want to live, you enjoy your job, you remain fulfilled (through your purpose or passion; kudos if it’s from your job) then you already have a degree of life success. There is so much more to it though, but that’s for another time.
So if you’re that someone who appears successful in a job with money but you’re not happy, then clearly money does not bring you happiness. You can’t be happy with a lot of money if you’ve got terrible relationships, or you don’t have your stress under control, or you’re dealing with feelings of loneliness… Money can’t mend relationships or destress you (unless it’s financial stress, but again, that’s a story for another time).
Let’s look at ways that we can use money to create happiness though…and these are ways I personally adhere to myself.
ITEMS THAT BRING YOU JOY
By no means am I referring to the Marie Kondo “…hold it up and if it doesn’t bring you joy, discard it” method, because come on, raise your hand if you’re just going to lie and say it brought you joy anyway!? Did you just raise your hand? No, I am referring to tangible items that can enhance your life, or create the kind of space that you want to live in – however that looks for you. For me, I want to create a space that calms me. I like my space to be organised and tidy to ward off stress as much as possible. I also love anything that makes me feel cosy. Tangible items that help me feel these things are; candles; dried flowers; anything related to winter; pictures of the moon; crystals; fairy lights.
I justify spending money on these sorts of items because even though you can’t find happiness in physical things, I just feel my most relaxed and content being surrounded by my favourite decor pieces, and spending my money on these soul filling items improves my happiness and well-being.
EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND
There is such a good feeling looking in your bank account and seeing a nest egg of emergency savings! Sure spending money the other ways I’ve suggested can help too but a) who would I to be if I didn’t give sound advice and tell you to save your pennies, and b) when you reach that savings goal that you’ve been running towards for YEARS, it feels gooooooood.
As you read this I am currently one month away from reaching my biggest savings goal of a 6 month emergency savings fund. If you’ve read my story (or know me personally), you’ll know that I used to struggle in the workforce going from job to job for reasons out of my control and always spending the money I had just saved up in between those jobs so I could survive. NEVER have I ever had this much money before and it’s an amazing accomplishment! Using my money to save this emergency fund has improved my happiness (even if it is just there in case I lose my job again and not for something fun like a Euro trip)!
Feeling financially secure just has a flow on effect to the other areas of your life. When you’re no longer stressing about money all the time, you’re free to enjoy the good parts of life!
CONNECTION AND EXPERIENCES
Despite my introverted ways, I realised earlier this year, that I craved connection. I started talking to new people online, I evaluated some of the current relationships in my life and I started reading the book ‘Here to Make Friends: How To Make Friends As An Adult’ by Hope Kelaher, LCSW. In doing this, connecting with other people and strengthening my existing relationships became a priority; a value if you will. And we can all agree that most of the time when we connect with friends, family or strangers we’re meeting them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, morning tea, afternoon tea, dessert, the snack time in between breakfast and brunch. Everyone always wants to meet for darn food!
I’ve often been a bit stingy when it comes to buying food out, especially when I’ve already spent money on groceries for the week (hello who’s with me?!), but I’ve learnt that when spending on experiences like eating out with other people it pays to relax your finances. Experiences with other people make it that much more wonderful (and memorable) and you’re putting your time and energy physically and financially into improving a relationship. What could be wrong with that?!
Of course it pays to be sure that it’s an experience or event that you enjoy though. There’s no point spending $50 to hire a karaoke room when you hate karaoke or spending copious amounts of money for a 5 course Italian meal when Italian makes you ill (I feel so sad for you if this is you, Italian is life) – you feel me, right?
Money has wholeheartedly improved my happiness when I’ve been spending according to my values!
SELF DEVELOPMENT AND WELL-BEING
I have jumped on the self development bandwagon BIG time this year! I’ve been into self development – probably since about August 2018 – but this year has changed the game for me. I have no idea how during a pandemic I managed to become the best version of me. Crazy! I think the best thing for your happiness is to grow, and you can’t have growth without first getting to know the ins and outs of YOU!
There are so many free resources on the internet, but I can assure you anything to do with developing your body and mind into the best version of yourself is worth every damn penny love! Buy those books, join those courses, go on fitness or yoga retreats, see a dietitian, book that PT session, or speak to a naturopath – whatever this growth and discovery of your body and mind is to you, DO IT!
I personally spend my money with no worry at all, on a new book once a month (99% of them are self help); I’ve just recently booked in an appointment to see a dietitian, I’m about to buy some amazing equipment for at home workouts AND earlier this year I made the best purchase ever by joining Erin May Henry’s (Google/Instagram/YT her peeps) newly renamed ‘Clarity and Community’ course online!
Hands down these are the best things I’ve done for my self-development. Spending money in these areas will improve your happiness because you’ll realise the person you want to be, discover the vision you want for your future, and pave the way for your better future!
At the end of the day, if some or all of these tips don’t relate to you, let this be the main thing you leave this site with; spend intentionally, spend mindfully and spend with your core values at the forefront of your mind!
If you enjoyed this post, let me know! If you have any questions or thoughts feel free to contact me via email or join me on Instagram as I show more of the behind the scenes of how I’m striving for life success/happiness everyday. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you’re notified of new posts as they go live each week.
I love you 3000!