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Money can actually buy you happiness. Here's how to get it.

Increasing your well-being

A growing body of research shows we can reliably raise our well-being.

Reframing the way we think about money and making financial decisions can lead to long-term gains in life satisfaction. Just having money doesn’t necessarily mean greater happiness, but using it well can.

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Money can actually buy you happiness. Here's how to get it.

Money can actually buy you happiness. Here's how to get it.

https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/11/13/20951937/money-experiences-buy-happiness-happy-how-to-spend

vox.com

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Key Ideas

Increasing your well-being

A growing body of research shows we can reliably raise our well-being.

Reframing the way we think about money and making financial decisions can lead to long-term gains in life satisfaction. Just having money doesn’t necessarily mean greater happiness, but using it well can.

Two categories of happiness

  • The level of positive emotions. This includes pride, joy, contentment, and curiosity we experience on a day-to-day basis. How happy you are on an immediate basis fluctuates by the day or even the hour.
  • The overarching sense of contentment. How happy you are overall, generally remains the same. When you rate your happiness on a 10-point scale, if you are a seven kind of person, you will often stay around seven.

Buy time

Buying time by outsourcing unpleasant or disliked tasks can benefit our well-being. 

Unfortunately, we're not great at valuing time over money. To change our spending habits, it helps to value time more than money. It could mean that we seek a job for its flexibility rather than the salary and prestige.

Spend money on experiences

Psychologically, the effect of buying stuff is less valuable. Experiences are often better investments, as they encourage meaningful memories and connections that have a lasting impact.

Give money away

A series of experiments found people are happier after spending money on others versus on themselves. It is not that spending money on yourself doesn't feel good - it just doesn't seem to last for long.

By giving money away, you not only make other people happy, but you also make yourself happier.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Concerns with positive psychology
  • There are worries about its replicability and unreliable self-reports.
  • Promoting material achievement as part of happiness can make well-being seem out of reach.
  • Positive psych...
Reasons for popularity

There is no major conclusion in positive psychology that has not been challenged, modified or even rejected.

Yet the fact that positive psychology is becoming more popular means that it gives hope, optimism and perhaps happiness to millions of its consumers.

The beginning of positive psychology

The story of positive psychology started just 20 years ago with Martin Seligman, head of the American Psychological Association. The idea he considered was: What if every person was encouraged to nurture his or her character strengths, rather than being scolded into fixing their shortcomings?

He reorientated the entire discipline of psychology away from mostly treating mental illness and toward human flourishing, then used his authority to promote it.

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Adaptation and happiness

Adaptation is the enemy of happiness.

We buy things to make us happy. And they do, but only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.

Experiences vs. Objects

Objects fade and become part of the new normal. So you’ll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling. 

Experiences really are part of ourselves. We are the sum total of our experiences.

Shared experiences

They connect us more than shared consumption.

Even if someone wasn’t with you when you had a particular experience, you’re much more likely to bond over both having hiked the Appalachian Trail or seeing the same show than you are over both owning Fitbits.

3 Financial Basics
  1. Create a Financial Calendar: prevent yourself from forgetting quarterly tax payments and to get credit reports.
  2. Check Your Interest Rate: Pay off loans, open saving accou...
Budgeting Like a Pro
  • Consider an All-Cash Diet, as limiting yourself to physical currency combats overspending.
  • Set aside 1 minute a day to check on your financial transactions, to identify problems, track goal progress and set your spending tone.
  • Allocate at least 20% of your income to financial priorities like emergency funds, debts and retirement fund.
  • Budget about 30% of your income for nonbasic spendings, like entertainment. Abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.
How to Get Money Motivated
  • Draft a Financial Vision Board, it motivates and helps you to stay on track with your financial goals.
  • Set specific financial goals stating the reason, the way, numbers and dates.
  • Adopt a spending mantra, a phrase that serves as a rule of thumb for how you spend.
  • Love yourself. Taking control of your finances is part of that.
  • Make bite-size money goals. Make the bigger ones but also small step goals to get there.
  • Don’t be a financial fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
  • Get your finances and body in shape. The discipline associated with regular exercising translates to managing your money well.
  • Appreciate what you have now, instead of being a consumerist.
  • Get a Money Buddy. Studies indicate people pick up good habits from friends with similar traits.

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Human nature is more than biology
Human nature is more than biology

The level of happiness is part of our genetic makeup - we have a set level and cannot rise above or fall below it.

Some scientists envision the day that we can manipulate our happiness ge...

Quantifying happiness

Happiness has always been difficult to quantify because it is subjective, depending on if you have a short- or a long-term outlook on life. Recently, researchers have started to distinguish between two types of happiness: 

  • Hedonic happiness that provides a mental high;
  • Eudaimonic happiness, a sense of well-being which involves a life well-lived.
The staples of happiness

People will always be happy when they see their children prosper when they feel loved, secure, and well-fed.

But, this formula for happiness is so obvious that most people dismiss it. They would rather look for a secret ingredient. The answer is that there is no secret.

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Perfectionist Behavior
Perfectionist Behavior

Perfectionist behavior is a broad personality trait prevalent in today's generation. It is defined as a hypercritical relationship with one's self.

While settin...

Perfectly Curated Life

Perfectionism is a growing cultural phenomenon that has engulfed a large set of people including celebrities. Some of the causes are:

  • Modern parenting
  • Competitive economy
  • Consumerism and advertising
  • Social Media.
Perfectionism x1000

Social Media acts as the biggest culprit in amplifying perfectionism as youngsters can constantly compare their looks and their lives to others in easily measurable ways.

There is an increased expectation from our family and our peers to be perfect in all aspects of our lives.

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The happiness curve
The happiness curve

There is increasing evidence that happiness through adulthood is U-shaped.

Life satisfaction falls in our 20s and 30s, then hitting a low in our late 40s before increasing until our 80s....

The midlife slump

That midlife slump (not to be confused with a midlife crisis) is often nothing - just a natural transition due to the passing of time.

Those likely to notice it are people that seem to have everything going for them; they're achieving their goals, and nothing much changed, yet they feel less satisfied than they expected and think there must be something wrong with their lives.

When the U-curve occurs

According to a study by economists, the U-curve is generally noticed at age 46. It tends to appear in wealthier countries.

However, some economists and psychologists factor in the possibility that those who become happier in the studies are the same people who are content in their early years.

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Unhappiness vs Depression
Unhappiness vs Depression

Unhappiness and depression are on the same platform. They both are caused due to our disconnection from what makes us happy.

What we need to be Happy

Depression is caused by the lack of what we need to be happy:

  • We need to belong to a group. 
  • We need to be valued by other people.
  • We need to know that we are good at something.
  • We need to know we are secure in our future.
Soul-Destroying Work

If the work you're doing isn't meaningful, people are bound to get anxious, depressed and unhappy. The most stress-inducing is the work that is monotonous and boring.

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Kakeibo
Kakeibo

Kakeibo translates as "household financial ledger" and is a simple approach to managing your finances.

For the past 116 years, kakeibo has been effective in helping people make smarter fin...

Your relationship with money

The idea behind kakeibo is to help you understand the relationship with money by keeping a ledger with all incoming and outgoing transactions.

The difference from other budgeting systems is that kakeibo emphasizes the importance of physically writing things down as a way to observe your spending habits.

Reduce impulse buying
Before purchasing non-essential items ask yourself:
  • Can I live without this item?
  • Based on my financial situation, can I afford it?
  • Will I actually use it? Do I have space for it?
  • How did I come across it in the first place? (Did I come across it after wandering into a gift shop out of boredom?)
  • What is my emotional state in general today? (Calm? Stressed?)
  • How do I feel about buying it? (Happy? Excited? Indifferent?)
  • How long will this feeling last?

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Tips On Running a Side Hustle
  • Before you plunge headfirst into a passion project, do your research.
  • Spend time online to see what others are doing
  • Keep initial costs low by using a free website builder and...
Reasons To Start a Side Hustle
  • Earn extra spending money.
  • Liberate oneself from the 9-to-5.
  • Obtain financial security.
  • Get a deeper sense of satisfaction.
Sit by the Water

Our body's proximity to water – large flowing rivers and the coastal regions, has been associated with positive effects on our health and wellbeing.

Just like being in nature is good for heal...

Seaside Therapy

Seaside living generally has more sunlight and less pollution, promoting better health and more of vitamin D to the people living there.

People who are living near the sea also are more likely to spend time outdoors in some activity or exercise.

Restorative effect of Water

Water has a psychologically restorative effect on humans. It reduces negative mood and stress at a better rate than being in green spaces(nature).

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