Your House is Not an Investment

We’ve been spending the month exploring economics and investing.

Not once in any of that exploration have I mentioned housing. Even when discussing what we should be investing in.

Why? Did I forget to include it? Isn’t buying a house a great investment?

In short: No. Continue reading “Your House is Not an Investment”

Lead With Love

Our look at happiness through philosophy has led us to spend a lot of time with the ancient Stoic philosophers and today will be no different.

However, today we’re visiting a topic that is widely covered in all sorts of philosophies and even (or especially) religions.

Today’s topic is the idea that we are all connected, so we must lead with love and be kind to others. Continue reading “Lead With Love”

There is Always a Choice

You always have a choice.

This is not an empty maxim. Not an inspirational quote.

It is a fact of life. And recognizing this fact will make you happier and allow you to live a better life.

While there are times when things happen to us that are outside of our control, it is always our choice how we respond to them. Continue reading “There is Always a Choice”

Finding Serenity

We’re spending the month of July looking for keys to happiness in philosophy. Today, we’re going to explore one specific quote.

There is often a great power in quotes.

When someone can distill an idea or a philosophy into a short, memorable collection of words, it can become a kind of mantra for people. It can be a reminder of how they want to live their life and how to be their best selves.

One example of this is the Serenity Prayer. Continue reading “Finding Serenity”

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”

Go To Bed. Seriously.

We can’t leave our month of talking about health without hitting on sleep.

We already looked at sleep in the context of productivity and time management. There are lots of great productivity reasons that you should sleep more and lots of research showing that skipping sleep to work more doesn’t actually result in more work getting done.

But there are also a lot of health benefits to getting sufficient sleep, so we’re revisiting it today. Continue reading “Go To Bed. Seriously.”

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”

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”

The Point of It All

We’ve covered a lot of big topics so far this year in our quest for a better life.

We spent January figuring out how to plan and strive for our ideal life. How to make changes big and small to achieve that dream.

In February we explored the basics of personal finance. We learned how to get control of our money and make a plan so that our money supports our ideal life, as well.

March was an exploration of time management so that we can fit more into the life we have now.

But how do these actually help us have a better life? What actually makes life better?

Continue reading “The Point of It All”