Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project recommends buying some happiness by indulging in a modest splurge. Its not that money buys happiness, its that money helps us meet the basic psychological needs that are required to be happy.
- To feel secure
- To feel good at what we do
- To be loved
- To feel connected to others
- To have a strong sense of control
As Gretchen points out in her book, money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements but you can choose to spend your money in ways that bring you closer instead of further away from happiness in the following ways:
- To stay in closer contact with family & friends
- To promote your energy & health
- To create a more serene environment in your home
- To eliminate a source of boredom, irritation or conflict
- To support a cause that you think is important
- To have experiences that would enlarge you
She decided to spend her money supporting happiness goals in the following ways:
- Strengthening relationships
- Promoting health
- Having fun
- Creating happy memories
- Making work more enjoyable
- Doing good for others
Trinny and Susannah in their book What Your Clothes Say About You: How To Look Different, Act Different And Feel Different they say its important to get into the frame of mind of putting yourself first. Take a piece of paper and write down fifty reasons why you deserve a whole new outfit. As you write notice which reasons are self pitying like “I never have anything nice” and which ones are self affirming like “I grew the most beautiful flowers in my garden”. Now take a separate piece of paper and write down 50 ways you could make some extra money. This is an exercise in imagination so your 50 reasons can be as sensible as charge for babysitting or silly as rob a bank as you like, just keep writing till you get to 50. Now make a commitment to put aside 10% of your household budget each week for your make-over fund. This money must be used to buy yourself a whole new look, even if it means giving up ice cream or some other sacrifice. Build up your fund for 3 months then blow it all in one day.
I will now choose to ask myself the following question when indulging in a modest splurge in the future: “How does this support my happiness goals?”
I might also write my lists and start a makeover fund as well.