In many people’s minds, money equates to happiness. If we had a little more, we would be happier. The problem with that mentality is that more is never enough and although having money is of course, better than not having money, there are many other factors involved – money alone can’t buy happiness.
We might think, for example, that owning a yacht in the harbour is the pinnacle of happiness. Although this would be very nice, while we’re sitting on that yacht, what else would be going on for us? Who is with us? What meaningful work do we carry out every day? What hobbies do we enjoy? When we become really clear about what really matters to us, suddenly we see that the material things are not so important after all.
When we understand this, we realise that we are probably a lot closer to achieving financial happiness than we may have previously thought. We do not need vast amounts of money to feel happy, we simply need enough to be able to do the things which make us happy. Once we embrace this idea, implementing an effective plan to achieve financial happiness becomes an easy task.
Here are our four ways to start living in financial happiness:
1. Surrounding ourselves with people who support our goals
By surrounding ourselves with friends and those who actively support our goals, we benefit from their encouragement, finding it easier to stay committed to the bigger picture.
Similarly, limiting our exposure to people who hinder our pursuit of financial happiness, will make it easier to stay on track. Anyone who puts us under pressure to overspend or live beyond our means, when we have been clear about our goals, should be confronted or avoided!
Finding like-minded people who are striving towards similar goals can be a really effective way of staying motivated and a mutually beneficial support network can make all the difference when the going gets tough.
2. New Experiences fuel the soul and don't have to cost the earth
There is far more to happiness than material possessions and this is important to keep in mind when implementing changes to spending habits. By shifting our focus onto experiences rather than things, we can move away from the idea that happiness has to involve spending money.
Spending time with friends, getting into nature or simply allowing ourselves more time for our hobbies, doesn’t have to cost anything at all. Consider local travel options rather than long-haul, swap eating out for eating in – take turns with friends and make it a shared experience.
By seizing the opportunity to step outside our comfort zones and try something new, we can expand our horizons whilst maintaining healthy finances. Learning a new skill, joining a local sports club, community volunteering or even giving your home a deep clean - there are countless budget-friendly ways to fuel the soul. Remember, the best things in life really are free.
3. Daily wellness habits build motivation for our financial worth and wellbeing
Financial wellbeing – having enough money to cover living expenses, with enough left over to enjoy the things which are important to us – is a key component of our overall wellness and directly links to our physical and emotional wellbeing too. Without financial security, stress becomes a serious concern, which in turn impacts upon our physical and mental health, even affecting our sense of self-worth.
It stands to reason therefore, that daily wellness habits can likewise have a supportive effect upon our financial wellbeing. By boosting our physical and emotional wellness through mindful daily practices, we can build motivation and commitment to our long-term goals, making it easier to make positive choices, promoting our financial wellbeing.
4. Creating a bespoke plan for your ideal life
The first step towards financial happiness is ensuring we are very clear about what makes us really happy. Once we have that understanding, we can then start tailoring a plan to help us get there. After bills and essentials have been covered, we can consider how much is left to spend, save and invest – and by applying a few simple strategies, we can get ourselves on track and start enjoying life, both now and in the future.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated and the peace of mind gained from having a clear grasp on our finances cannot be overlooked. To learn more about getting the most from your money and planning for the life you want, join us for our upcoming workshop at the end of the month - Planning for Financial Success.
If we take a little time to think about what actually makes us happy – what we enjoy doing and what we would like to do – we will see that there is far more to life than splurging and we are probably far closer to our own financial happiness than we realise!
By Gemma Coldwell - Contributing editor
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