When is Shaming Okay?

When we last met, we discussed donating money to charity and the pushback that comes when you publicly encourage people to donate more.

The discussion in the personal finance community originally kicked off with a thread of tweets from Tanja of Our Next Life. When I reached out to folks to learn more about why they pushed back against the encouragement to donate more, I received a lot of different answers that I detailed in the last article.

I also received a lot of complaints about shaming that I set aside and investigated separately.

So let’s dive into shaming here today. Continue reading “When is Shaming Okay?”

The Case Against Charity

Earlier this year the personal finance community got into a heated debate about charitable giving. The conversation kicked off with a thread of tweets from Tanja of Our Next Life.

Tanja’s thread was filled with research and nuance, but the big takeaway was basically that we fail to recognize when we are wealthy, and this leads to a scarcity mindset that, among other things, causes us to donate much less money than we are actually able.

This all seemed pretty uncontroversial to me. And yet, it led to a lot of pushback. Especially the idea that those of us with money should be donating more of it.

I wanted to understand why, so I asked. Continue reading “The Case Against Charity”

Happiness is Other People

Today we’re continuing our recap of 2018 by reviewing what we learned in September.

We had already made a few jaunts into happiness by this point. We learned about the science of happiness, the intersection of money and happiness, and the philosophy of happiness.

In September we built on this base by exploring how our relationships impact our happiness. Continue reading “Happiness is Other People”

How to Buy Happiness

Our year end recap continues today with the articles published in May.

After learning about life planning, personal finance basics, and time management and productivity, we started exploring the world of happiness.

Following our introduction to happiness in April, we went on to spend the month of May diving into the intersection of money and happiness. Continue reading “How to Buy Happiness”

Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)

On Tuesday we started a deep dive on Universal Basic Income by looking at what the concept actually entails.

We explored the different problems that people believe UBI can solve and the different visions that groups of supporters have. We explored Universal Basic Income as a replacement for the safety net, as a cure for poverty, and as a protection against job loss.

But all of this is based on one major premise: Universal Basic Income works.

The question we need to tackle next, then, is whether this is true. Would Universal Basic Income work? Is giving people cash the best approach to ending poverty?

Adopting a UBI is a huge undertaking, both economically and politically. Before we jump in, we should make sure there is evidence to support it.

That’s what we’re exploring today. Continue reading “Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)”

Better Life – Third Quarter Update

2018 is a year of self-improvement.

I’m spending each month exploring a different area of life and figuring out how best to improve and optimize.

As of the last quarterly update we had covered life planning, personal finance basics, time management, the science of happiness, money and happiness, and health.

Since then, we’ve added philosophy and happiness, investing and the economy, and relationships.

Let’s check in for the third quarter update. Continue reading “Better Life – Third Quarter Update”

Helping Yourself By Helping Others

We’re spending the month of September exploring relationships and happiness.

We started by learning about the importance of relationships generally to our happiness before diving into specific relationships with spouses and kids.

Now we’re going to zoom back out and look at broader concepts.

Today, we’ll be exploring the extraordinary happiness benefits of doing things for other people. Continue reading “Helping Yourself By Helping Others”

Better Life – Second Quarter Update

2018 is a year of self-improvement.

I’m spending each month exploring a different area of life and figuring out how best to improve and optimize.

So far we’ve covered life planning, personal finance basics, time management, the science of happiness, money and happiness, and health.

We’re halfway through the year, so it’s time for a quarterly check in. Continue reading “Better Life – Second Quarter Update”

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”

Comfort is Not Happiness

I spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and writing about happiness.

For years before I started writing here, I was just looking for ways to improve my own life. I wanted to understand why people who seemed like they had everything were still unhappy.

I wanted to find the traps that others fell into so that I could avoid them.

It is quite clear to me at this point that most people are not as happy as they could be. 

And I believe that the main culprit is mistaking comfort for happiness.

Continue reading “Comfort is Not Happiness”