This is a great article by fellow financial planner, Rick Kahler. He has some excellent ideas!
It turns out money can buy happiness, after all — sometimes.
Having a good income and the security of money invested for the future won’t ensure happiness, of course. They do, however, give us a foundation that can make it easier to find happiness. Part of the secret to using money to foster happiness is knowing what to spend it on.
First, spending money to lift your mood — the whole “retail therapy” idea — does not lead to happiness. It provides only a momentary sense of pleasure, which often in the long run fosters unhappiness.
There are ways to spend money that do create happiness. Here are a few of them, based, in part, on several posts about money and happiness by Dr. Jeremy Dean on his site Psyblog:
1. Experiences. Research says you will find greater happiness spending your money on experiences rather than on stuff. Experiences live in our memories much longer and give us more emotional enjoyment than things, which can quickly lose their importance. In fact, just the anticipation of planning an experience often creates happiness. And if you want to take the happiness level up a notch, take a friend along with you.
read the complete article here KAHLER: Money can’t buy love, but it can buy happiness.