Is it possible to have money and to be happy? Studies have been done researching this question, but looking at the facts, it seems that it is not so far-fetched to have money and happiness simultaneously. The following are a few suggestions to do just that:
Look at what will give you long-term gains on investments
Saving some money here and there is smart and applaudable, but if you’re looking to make even more money, you have to think bigger. Making changes like a new insurance or phone plan, cutting back on large expenses, or a change in salary are investments that over time see greater results than occasional frugal spending.
This doesn’t mean that frugality is a sin, it is commendable and something to strive for. Over time, these small choices can lead to greater investments, too. But what about when one is so frugal that they miss out on opportunities for memorable experiences? Or when someone obsesses so much over saving a buck that they let their worry get in the way of their happiness? Both are bad.
Learn to be frugal, to make choices on where you spend your money that will be a good investment, whether to bring in more money or to bring you something that will look back on with fondness. Being wise with your money never sounded so hard, but it is possible.
Don’t “Treat Yo’ Self” everyday
Fans of the popular TV show, “Parks and Recreation,” mark in their calendars “Treat Yo’ Self Day,” a day when the show’s characters shirk off work to pamper themselves and buy whatever they want. They look forward to this day all year long, what they claim to be the “best day of the year.” Similar feelings surround the holidays, or birthdays, days when we choose to spend money we wouldn’t normally spend because it is for a special occasion.
What makes that reward worthwhile is the uncommonness of it. If we were to reward ourselves constantly, those rewards wouldn’t be treated as something special, but as just part our daily lives.
Thus, when making more money, don’t splurge too much or you’ll lose the excitement and pleasure that comes from such a reward. Also, if you “Treat Yo’ Self” every time you get a paycheck or some extra money, that money will dwindle quickly.
But Still be Sure to “Treat Yo’ Self”
This is not meant to contradict the previous suggestion. Giving yourself too many rewards can be detrimental to your bank and to your wellbeing, but it is good to indulge yourself every so often. After all, having a reward can motivate us to work harder.
Remember the first suggestion and think of investments you can make to “Treat Yo’ Self,” one’s that don’t put too much of a dent on your paycheck, but also give you a sense of freedom. A small, much-needed family vacation, a day visiting some nearby sites, a night-out. Pick what makes you happy and something within your means. These don’t have to be extravagant excursions, just something meaningful.
The ones who make money are the ones who aren’t afraid to put their boots on and get to work. If you find you aren’t getting the results you want, try something else, but try something! Ramit Sethi, author of acclaimed book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, gives his three suggestions for ways you can take action:
- Ask for a raise. This goes back to searching for what’s going to give you those long-term investment gains. Sethi claims that asking for a raise is a clear way of proactively trying to earn more money, and the investment is larger, especially when it lasts longer. By doing this, you are taking in the bigger picture of making more money, and should feel satisfied by your hard work qualifying you for such a raise.
- Making money on the side. Sethi suggests using your hobbies and passions to make some extra money, as well. The increase may not be as large or originally self-evident as a pay raise, but every bit helps. Plus, you are doing something that you love, bringing you self-fulfillment and happiness.
- Increase income with another business. Sethi’s guide also gives helpful tips to creating and sustaining an online business. This can also be considered one of those long-term investments, if done right. If you choose a field that excites you, earning more money won’t seem mundane, but will add to your happiness. You may just need the guidance to get there.
Happiness and money are not always interconnected, but there are smart ways to make more money and do what makes you happy. It starts right where you are.