Money can buy you happiness! An interesting perspective from Rick Kahler – Fee-Only CFP.
It turns out money can buy happiness, after all—sometimes.
Having a good income and the security of money invested for the future don’t insure 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.
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.
Yet there are ways to spend money that do create happiness. Here, based in part on several posts about money and happiness by Dr. Jeremy Dean on his site Psyblog, are a few of them:
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.
2. Exercise. The number-one strategy people can use to feel better, increase energy levels, and reduce tension is exercise. Exercising can mean spending money on a gym membership, a personal trainer, and equipment. However, exercising can also be inexpensive. Walking, for example, requires little more than a pair of good walking shoes and—at least here in South Dakota—a warm winter coat.