How To Spend Your Money To Maximize Your Happiness?
While the current inflationary context encourages the French to manage their budget more carefully, it is also an opportunity to question our relationship with money. Do you know how to make good use of your income? Does what you do with your money make you happy? Here are 5 tips on how to spend your money well in order to maximize your happiness.
1- Beware of the sirens of consumerism
Whether or not you are a shopaholic, we have all experienced the pleasure of shopping.
When we give in to the urge to buy something, whether it's a long premeditated purchase or something more impulsive, we feel a rush of excitement and pleasure.
But have you noticed how that joy is fleeting? In order to experience this short-lived satisfaction again, our brain pushes us to buy more and more things and directs our desire towards other objects that we think will make our life better...
This way of spending our money, even if it gives us some satisfaction, is not the best way to optimize our happiness since it makes us run after a very ephemeral pleasure.
2- Give yourself experiences rather than objects
While it's not a matter of stopping buying things (that would be absurd since we will always need certain items on a daily basis), it's important to learn how to spend your money differently to maximize your happiness.
One of the main principles for getting more satisfaction from your income, no matter how large or small, is to provide yourself with experiences rather than objects.
As explained in the previous paragraph, the joy associated with a material purchase is only temporary.
Once the pleasure of the acquisition has passed, we get used to owning that object and take it for granted. This principle applies to small objects as well as to larger ones, to a piece of clothing as well as to a house or a car.
Moreover, since there is always something better, bigger, or newer somewhere else, we are likely to be quickly disappointed or bored with what we have purchased.
Conversely, when you use your money to treat yourself to an experience like a trip, you don't get anything tangible out of it, but you do get valuable memories for the rest of your life.
This is a joy that no object in the world can give you. Very serious psychology research shows that the happiness felt is much greater before, during and after the experience.
You feel pleasure in anticipation when you prepare for your trip (for example) and in hindsight when you recall your memories.
It should be noted that experiences that make you happy are not limited to travel. They also include pilgrimages, outings, cultural visits, amusement park visits, shows and concerts, not to mention meals in an exceptional restaurant.
3- Buy less to enjoy more
Another problem with buying a lot of material goods with your money is that you end up not appreciating what you have.
While it is more enjoyable to live in material comfort than in deprivation, having too many possessions and abundance all the time can have a negative effect on the satisfaction felt.
Therefore, another way to optimize happiness is to postpone the purchase of things that we want.
Differentiating the act of buying not only allows one to know if one really wants or needs the item (it is possible that some desires will disappear on their own), but also increases the satisfaction felt when one eventually indulges in that much desired trip or item.
This experience of frustration also has the merit of reminding us that consumption is not the only way to please oneself. The anticipation of a purchase is also pleasant.
4- Give yourself time
Money is a tool that can help you maximize your happiness, but only if you use it well.
Amassing money isn't very satisfying if it doesn't allow you to do what you love in life.
Another way to spend your money to maximize your happiness is to provide yourself with the services of others to do the things that bother you, such as ironing, cleaning, or tending to your garden for example...
Delegating tedious tasks to other people allows you to free up time to do the things you really love.
Following the same logic, it makes sense to use your income to organize your life in the most enjoyable way possible.
This may mean choosing a more expensive home but one that is closer to your place of work to avoid long hours of commuting in traffic.
It is often said that 'time is money', but it is also true that money can save time. Yet, it is essential to have free time to enjoy your material possessions.
Understanding that time is more valuable than money may seem like a no-brainer, but it's an idea to keep in mind because it changes your outlook on life.
5- Spend your money on others
Have you ever noticed that it's more fun to spend money on others than on yourself? In fact, studies prove that there is more satisfaction in giving a gift than receiving one!
So another way to maximize your happiness is to spend your money for others and without expecting anything in return.
In order for the joy of giving to operate, it must be done without any expectations and definitely without thinking about a return on investment.
In other words, your generosity must be sincere and selfless for you to feel the joy of it.