The Beatles famously sang, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” but it turns out, money can’t buy you happiness either. The wealthy have just as many problems, albeit different problems, than the rest of us.
However, that doesn’t mean money can’t contribute to your happiness. The key is knowing the financial strategies that are most likely to bring a smile to your face.
Give It Away
A lot of people get stingy about their money. They pinch pennies, determined to add more cash to their bank and savings accounts. Although it’s always a good idea to spend less than you earn and save as much as you can, it isn’t likely to bring you the most happiness.
Instead, giving away money will likely make you happier. It doesn’t have to be a lot either. Send a small sum of money to a friend or family member with Remitly, donate a little bit to your favorite charity, or hand over a large tip to the pizza delivery man.
Buy Experiences, Not Things
If you are going to spend your money, avoid buying things. Instead, buy an experience. It’s more likely to contribute to your social life, it will leave you with memorable moments that will last a lifetime, and an experience can help you define your purpose and passion in life. Stuff, on the other hand, will just clutter your closets.
An experience doesn’t have to be a trip halfway around the world either. A few ideas include:
- Eating at a fancy restaurant
- Paying for a spa day
- Buying tickets to a concert
- Taking a class
Delay a Purchase
Although buying experiences will make you happier than buying stuff, you can’t avoid buying stuff forever! It’s okay to want a new handbag or pair of shoes, but you’ll be happier if you delay your purchase.
Give yourself time to look forward to the thing you’re about to buy. Dreaming of owning that thing will bring you more happiness than the act of buying it will.
No matter how much you wanted that thing, you’ll quickly habituate to having it around, which will make owning it a lot less exciting. Delaying the purchase can make sure you want it as bad as you think you do!
Make More, up to a Certain Point
It can be a bit of a relief to know that even the richest among us aren’t any happier, but we’re fooling ourselves if we think money can’t solve at least some of our problems. If you can’t pay the bills or the rent, you’re going to be more unhappy than if you could.
That’s why it’s worth mentioning that making more money can contribute to your happiness, but only up to a certain point. It turns out, $75,000 a year is the magic number. You can strive to make that much, but don’t think making more will make you any happier.
Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can make you happier, if you spend it the right way. With the tips on this list, you can get every ounce of joy out of your cash as possible.