July’s happiness project is all about money. Cue Meija’s All About The Money song! Haha. On a semi-serious note, money is quite a tricky topic to talk about. But we’re not going to be all witty and act like a financial expert on this post, instead I will guide you on this month’s task and on how to do them based on your own situation. July is all about buying some happiness.
The happiness project tasks for this month are:
Indulge in a modest splurge.
Buy needful things.
Give something up.
Don’t get the wrong impression that this month is all about emptying your wallets and putting a hole in your pocket! That’s not the agenda. What GR (yes, close na talaga kami ni Gretchen Rubin) is trying to prove here is that money can contribute to happiness if used wisely.
Money, according to The Happiness Project book, satisfies basic material needs. It’s a means and an end. It’s a way to keep score, win security, exercise generosity, and earn recognition. It symbolizes status and success.
INDULGE IN A MODEST SPLURGE
Do you believe that money can buy you happiness? Others think so and others oppose. I think money alone cannot buy us happiness. Having a spending power in general makes one feel happy. Knowing that you can buy something more than what you need makes you satisfied and empowered. Purchasing power gives us an immediate zap of happiness. This is true. But sometimes, impulse buying can give us buyer’s remorse. Most SAHM would feel guilty for buying something they want because it’s not a need, therefore not a priority. Yes, I am one of them, at times. According to GR, there are three factors that shape the significance of money to individuals.
It depends on what kind of person you are.
Some like to collect art, while some like to watch a play or play golf. Your lifestyle will clearly determine the way you see money. One is willing to spend on organic food but underspend on toiletries.
It depends on how you spend your money.
Buying what you need is a priority but sometimes people don’t always buy what they need. Some like to spend their money more on their wants than needs, others vice versa.
It depends on how much money you have relative to the people around you and relative to your own experience.
One person’s fortune is another person’s misfortune.
But THP (The Happiness Project) suggests we indulge in a modest splurge. It states that studies show that people’s basic psychological needs include the need to feel secure, to feel good at what they do, to be loved, to feel connected to others, and to have a strong sense of control. Money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help.
Gretchen Rubin gives a concrete example with the expensive-gym-membership-effect. In its simplest explanation, you are encouraged to do something because you already paid for it.
Like for me, when I see deals online from restaurants, spas and sometimes even things I’ve once wanted but don’t want to spend on, I grab the opportunity to buy them on sale. At a discounted price, I am more eager to dine at a restaurant we’ve never tried or had but don’t really want to shell out much money on. I am also prompted to schedule a “me time” at a spa because I’ve already bought a voucher. Getchinabells?
Other than these, I modestly splurge on food. I don’t mind paying 80 pesos for a delicious cupcake because I just love eating, or spending 150 pesos for a cup of coffee, the good crafted kind of coffee. These little things may not even be a splurge to some but for others, they’re considered a luxury. If something is scarce enough to be purchased on a daily or regularly basis, it can be considered a luxury even if its a modest pleasure such as what I mentioned. That is why deprivation according to GR is one of the most effective, although unenjoyable, cure for the hedonic treadmill (as a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise as well, which results to no permanent gain in happiness).
BUY NEEDFUL THINGS
There are two kinds of spender: underspender and overspender. Most people would know to which they belong. I admit I am an overspender, especially when it comes to food. Takot ako magutom, bilang malakas ako kumain. (I’m afraid to go hungry because I eat a lot). Needful things are those things you know you use everyday or on a regular basis. Underspenders tend to buy things only when they need to and sometimes really buy something just at the moment they need to use it. I find that a tad bit of a hassle. My husband and I don’t like it when we ran out of coffee, toilet paper and toothpaste. We tend to panic even if we still have one more unused roll of tissue. We’re accustomed to stocking up the necessities because we know it’s such a drag to rush to the grocery just to buy a tissue or a tube of toothpaste. Plus, frequent trips to the grocery can only increase your spending.
If you’re being frugal, keri lang naman. Stocking up isn’t an indication that you can speed up the usage of these things. Walang tipid portion, ubos-ubos biyaya levelz. Use your stock of products moderately and don’t rush on using them. That’s not how it woks. Just buy more than enough needful things because you know that having these things will do more good than not having them.
One of the things I know Mr. GJG loves is seeing our house as orderly and clean as possible. With two kids and being helpless for a period of time, it was acceptable to have a semi-cluttered house. But still, he likes seeing our floor rugs, bath mats and other cleaning aids as pretty and neat as possible. But the thing is, he doesn’t like spending on things he thinks have little value of. One of which is floor rugs. Eh kasi basahan nga lang naman, why spend? So when I learned that Rags2Riches sells lovely hand made floor mats in different colors, I hoarded.
Aren’t these floor mats lovely? I will make a separate post about my visit to RIIR.
It’s about time to throw those worn out ex-tshirt of a rag and rug. It’s so worn out, using it as a rag or rug isn’t acceptable. Immediately when he saw our new floor mats, he was pleased to see how lovely they are. Good thing I trusted my being an overspender and bought more than a handful of these needful thing.
I reposted this from Tin Dychiao’s Instagram.
Yes, we girls just want funds! I bet Cyndi Lauper wants to change the lyrics of her song too! 😉 Spend out doesn’t mean go wild with your credit card or empty your bank out and buy the coveted red sole Loubotin shoes or a Chanel 2.55 reissue bag, although these are such lovely treats no one would turn down. What spending out means is making the most of what you have.
I noticed I like collecting stationaries and other kinds of paper supplies such as pads, sticky notes, journals and notebooks. So much so that I dedicated half of our cabinet’s top shelf for my growing collection. It wasn’t intentional, it just so happens that I’ve been getting them from press kits, events, or just because gifts. Okay fine, plus from a few trips to the bookstore. I adore looking at them and admire how pretty and cute they are. But often times, I find myself not having one decent notebook nor paper to write my notes with. Isn’t it ironic? Donchatink? Uy, kinanta mo no? Heehee. So with that, I decided that no matter how much I want to preserve and keep them unused, I have to use them for me to fully utilize their purpose. At first I was hesitant kasi sayang naman, but eventually I got the hang of it and have now been using them as much as I can.
GIVE SOMETHING OUT
Okay, this might be hard for most women. Collect and collect and then select yata ang motto ng ladies! But on a serious note, it really isn’t hard to do. I admit my obsession with buying clothes on Ebay has become a habit. Eeeep! But what I do though is I dispose of those that I no longer use. It’s a give and take thing. If you want to keep something, make sure you let go of another. This would also help you de-clutter and achieve a sense of balance and contentment. I have not given up shopping for thrift clothes because it seriously makes me happy. But one thing I had given up is buying shoes. I seldom wear my lovely pairs as I find myself rocking my flats more than my stilettos.
I have surrendered to the idea that whatever I want, I will not get and that’s okay. Because at times, what I want don’t even fit my lifestyle, my space at home, nor my personality. Thus, I have applied the secret of “Be Jackie” in almost all my purchases. Even if something is on sale and is really worth the money to get but I know I won’t be able to use it nor will it increase my happiness, I just walk away. Like my love for designer handbags. I have given up on the idea of saving say for a 100,000 pesos worth of bag because I know in my heart even if I have the money, I won’t be able to convince myself (nor my husband at that!) to buy it at that cost. Unless, it was gifted to me, won the lottery or look for a cheaper second-hand one. Shempre, nag habol pa ko ng reasoning. Heehee.
Anyway, here’s my own take when it comes to buying some happiness:
Treat yourself from time to time. May it be with food, clothes or anything that makes you happy! Just be sure it is something that you really want or need and something that will give you
long term happiness, and not only give you happiness the moment you’ve purchased it. Whether you use it or not, make sure that after you buy it, you won’t get any buyers remorse every time you look at it ha.
Enjoy the money your earned and worked hard for. Why do we work? To pay bills, to take care of our family and to cover our basic needs. All of the above are correct. But sometimes, we’re too focused on saving up for the future we lack to enjoy today. Others are so frugal, they’re even willing to cut on their necessities
just so they can buy their wants. OA na yan. Remember, the way you spend depends on your relationship with your money and how you spend it. Enjoy a little. Life ain’t serious, so you don’t have to be!
Always go for a bargain. I am a bargain hunter. Although I am far from being a cheapskate. I know a good deal when I see one. So much so that whenever I see something on sale, I get super giddy and happy. Regardless if I get to purchase something. Most of what I want I end up getting on sale! Further reduced baby!
I’ve been meaning to buy a pretty durable wallet that’s within my budget. Luckily, I got this lovely Tory Burch wallet on sale. Yes, the bargain Gods love me! 😉
Think first before purchasing anything. Because we only want value for our money, each spending should be well thought of. Think twice, thrice or more before buying a want. Sleep on it because most of the time, it is our hormones talking! Heehee. If you can also wait until it goes on sale, the better.
So for you to be happy with money, you must first know what you want, why you want it and how can you achieve it. Money is a very, very tricky subject but if you follow these tasks then you will have a better sense of spending. Makes sense right? 🙂
Hope you got something out of this month’s happiness project!
Don’t forget to join my GIVEAWAYS! 😀
photo credit: www.someecards.com
Ma. Teresa Grech Q. Racal says
Hi!!! After reading this post, some of what you suggested, I usually do, like treat yourself… Since I am a stay at home mom from a low middle income family, para carry ng budgey, I go for a foot spa… and there are time, I usually clean my feet… hehehe! then I usually save up for books, siguro yun na ang pinakamatindi kong “splurge”, books. hahaha!!! I agree with you that THINK BEFORE YOU MAKE THAT PURCHASE, siguro tayong mga mommies ang magaling dyan. hehehe! Before I buy for myself, mga anak ko muna, yung mga ganung moment ba?! hehehe! tapos I like din yung kesehodang mahal ang food, I am willing to pay for it… Know what my father taught me, ndi na bale sa food ang gastos kasi mabubusog ka and all, yung things kasi, they come and go di ba?! Nice one here…
Russell Ariel F. Taripe says
I like this topic… i believe that money can buy happiness “sometimes” that was based on my experience… maybe because im gadget geek person who loves to buy new gadgets, a shopaholic and a foodie who loves eating, what i mentioned is definitely an expensive hobby but it makes me happy… later on you will notice that you’re not that much happy with all of it if you’re not with your family and any of your friends, thats why i quote sometimes…