Balancing Money and Happiness Over Time

As we close out our month exploring the intersection of money and happiness, we’ve learned quite a bit.

We’ve learned how money and happiness are linked and how a threshold level of income avoids unhappiness. We’ve also learned a few methods for getting more happiness out of the money that we already spend.

Last week we looked at where we should be spending more money to make ourselves happier and Tuesday we explored the issue of opportunity cost and where more money would make us less happy.

Today, we’re going to take a more complicated look at opportunity cost and tackle a very tricky issue that most people struggle with: weighing the short term against the long term when it comes to money and happiness. Continue reading “Balancing Money and Happiness Over Time”

When More Money Will Make You Less Happy

We’ve been spending this month exploring how best to spend our money to get the most happiness.

We’ve covered a lot of ground already, including a few ways to get more happiness out of the money that you already spend and some places that we should be spending more money.

When looking at the big picture, we learned that there is a certain threshold where having less money will make you less happy.

But today we are going to explore when more money will make you less happy. Continue reading “When More Money Will Make You Less Happy”

Buying Happiness by Giving Away Your Money

This month at Optimize Your Life we are exploring the intersection of money and happiness.

We spent the first week of May learning the basics and how low income can cause unhappiness.

Last week we looked at ways to get more happiness out of the money that we already spend.

We’re spending this week exploring places where we should spend more money to get more happiness. We started on Tuesday with spending more money on experiences.

Today I want to look at a more counterintuitive option: giving your money away. Continue reading “Buying Happiness by Giving Away Your Money”

The Best Happiness Bang for Your Buck

We’re spending the month of May exploring the intersection between money and happiness.

We’ve already learned that money CAN buy happiness, but that you’re probably spending it wrong.

One way to get more happiness out of your money is to indulge in small sporadic treats. You can also practice gratitude and avoid comparing your stuff to others.

Another way is to spend your money on experiences rather than stuff. Continue reading “The Best Happiness Bang for Your Buck”

Getting More Happiness out of your Stuff

When looking into the relationship between money and happiness, as we are this month, there are a number of different approaches to take.

First, we can get a big picture overview. We did that last week when we looked at the overall relationship between money and happiness in our culture and how poverty can drastically decrease our happiness.

We can also look at the science to figure out better ways to spend our money to buy more happiness. We’ll be starting down that path next week.

This week, however, we are looking at how to get more happiness out of the money that we already spend.

On Tuesday we looked into getting the most out of our sporadic smaller purchases. Today we’re going to look into how to change our mindset to get more happiness out of the things we already have. Continue reading “Getting More Happiness out of your Stuff”

Materialism and Happiness

Last month, while exploring the science of happiness, we learned about hedonic adaptation.

Hedonic adaptation is one of the key forces that prevents us from becoming happier. It misleads us into thinking that the wrong things will make us happy.

Instead, we end up on a treadmill where we continuously adapt to our new situations and material possessions and stay at the same level of happiness.

Today, we return to hedonic adaptation to see how it impacts the intersection of money and happiness. Continue reading “Materialism and Happiness”

How Much Does Happiness Cost?

On Tuesday we took our first dive into the intersection between money and happiness. We’ll build on this foundation for the rest of May.

What we found was that some amount of money allows us to spend our way out of intense stress and unhappiness. Once we can comfortably afford the necessities – food, shelter, and safety – our happiness goes up. After that it is more of a mixed bag.

The next logical question then is: How much money does it cost to be happy? Continue reading “How Much Does Happiness Cost?”

Money CAN Buy Happiness

Here at Optimize Your Life we are spending 2018 systematically working through different topics in an attempt to design and live a better life. For May, we will be exploring the topic of money and happiness.

People love to tell you that money can’t buy happiness.

Even personal finance writers, who are specifically writing about money, say this all the time. I saw another personal finance blog just last week telling people that they can’t buy happiness and shouldn’t even try.

These people are well-meaning. They are right that money won’t solve all of your problems and that being rich won’t magically make you happy.

But they are wrong that money can’t buy happiness. Continue reading “Money CAN Buy Happiness”