as we head further into a particularly lovely British summer, I can’t help but think how happy the sunshine makes us. I don’t know if it’s because I am thinking about my happiness levels more than usual or because the sunshine has been so forthcoming this month – but even when I had a few setbacks this month, my smile was hard to shift.
For July I wanted to look at the influence money has on happiness. Let’s see how I got on.
1. Indulge in a modest splurge
At the moment I am in deep saving mode (deposits for houses don’t grow on trees you know) so I must admit, I found it incredibly hard to ‘splurge’. The most I probably spent was on a trip to London to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We went to a luxurious rooftop bar and indulged in cocktails and nibbles all afternoon while the sun shone above us. I couldn’t have done this without money in the bank and I must admit – it made me happy.
Would I have been just as happy on a park bench drinking water with my friends? Probably. But the act of ‘splashing out’ and celebrating an occasion made it feel more special.
2. Buy needful things
I should have bought new shoes, new jeans or even bits of furniture for my future house – but I didn’t. Most of my money this month went on socialising, but I like to think spending money in this way makes you happier than a pair of work shoes.
3. Spend money on an experience
This month I did spend money on tickets for future experiences. A comedy night as an anniversary surprise later this year and a music festival in August. While I haven’t had these experiences yet, I’m positive this will be money well spent.
4. Get rid of possessions I no longer need/use
While I didn’t technically get rid of things I no longer need, I did move some things around – namely my winter jumpers from my wardrobe into storage. A simple change to make, but it made my wardrobe feel lighter and it makes life that little bit easier for me when I get dressed!
So, can money buy you happiness? I’m not going to lie – it certainly helps. Having said this, I think it’s the way we spend our money that determines our long-term happiness. Spending it on experiences and socialising this month made me happier than any pretty piece of clothing would. There are plenty of things that make us happy that don’t require money too, and next month these are the things I will be focussing on.
Goals for August
In the Happiness Project book, August is dedicated to considering the ‘heavens’ i.e. exploring your spirituality and being mindful of your mortality. It sounds slightly melancholy, but in reality it is about enjoying life in the moment and considering where you fit in the grand scheme of things. With this in mind, my goals for August are:
- meditate more often
- make some keepsakes
- learn more about the spiritual side of yoga
- figure out where I want to be in 10 years time.
To read about previous months, please see the Happiness Project archive.