Money. We need it, we love it, we hate it. But most importantly, where does it disappear so quickly? Seriously, no matter whether we live on two pretty good salaries or on one, as I am home taking care of the kids, it just disappears. By the end of the month it's all gone. And not that we bought all the goodies we need to finally be happy!
Wait, but money can’t buy happiness.
True but if used well, money can buy things or rather circumstances that support your happiness. Last week I watched this MarieTV interview with David Bach, that changed everything I though I knew about money. I hope you find it as inspiring:
After watching I just sat there staring at the little post-it note with my values hanging on my laptop, when it hit me: we totally spend money on the wrong things! Immediately I told my husband and we decided we have to change it. Here is the two step approach we took.
STEP 1. Eliminate waste
This is a tedious and uncomfortable task but it allows you to spend more on what matters so I recommend not to skip it. We basically went through all the payments done over the last three months and all the recurring payments and either eliminated them altogether or at least decreased them. We have decreased our banking and insurance fees, our phone invoices, and even our spend on food. We even managed to increase the quality of food we buy, simply by eating according to seasons. We no longer buy artificially produced foods off season, we go for mainly locally produced foods that have peak season. They are much healthier, tastier and cheaper. It took a few uncomfortable phone calls with sales professionals but we managed to save as much as 10% of our monthly spend.
STEP 2. Spend more on what makes you really happy
The key here is to figure out what it is, that makes you really happy. That is, what supports you, to live by your core values (to clarify your core values, check out my favorite process). For me it's not a new pair of shoes or a fancy phone. Instead, it is to spend more time with friends and family. Going out, inviting them over, spending time together at the playground etc. So we decided to move into a larger apartment, where we can host dinner-parties, and into a neighborhood where a bunch of friends live in walking distance. Of course, we will also have to change some of our habits to actually enjoy all the benefits, but I am positive it is the most rational AND happiness-promoting purchase I have ever made.
I certainly hope our story will inspire you to spend your money better and be happier. Now I would love to hear from you! Where do you spend your money? And, does it promote your happiness? Share your perspective and find inspiration in the comments below.