In Mary Holm’s “Rich Enough?” (affiliate link) Holm connects the reason for investing is to be happier. There’s no point in being rich if you’re unhappy. In the research she looked at, she found that there were ways to use your money to improve your happiness even if your income doesn’t make you a millionaire.
Experiences over Things
It turns out that “mind over matter” should be used for more than motivation to fight through physical pain or illness. Experiences provide you with an increase while you’re having them, and again when you’re remembering them. Even the “bad” experiences can be funny after some time has passed. Things provide a boost of happiness, but lose their luster through time. They get old, become obsolete, or break – and none of those things boost happiness.
By Small and Simple Things
It turns out that size does matter, but not in the way that you might think. If you can buy a lot of smaller pleasures rather than a few large ones, you’ll be happier. The large pleasures will lose their luster after a while, but smaller pleasures spread over time, keep their shine.
It might be time for layaway to make a comeback, but in a modified form. Anticipation is a part of building happiness. How ecstatic will you be when that long waited for movie finally makes it to a theater, or DVD, or your favorite streaming source? Paying for the item and then waiting for it without the worry of cost will improve your happiness with the item (or experience).
Better to Give
The old adage “It’s better to give than receive” holds true for happiness. Give what you can, you not only improve the person’s mood receiving the gift, you’ll improve your own as well.
Creativity and Happiness
You don’t have to be happy to be creative, but it helps. And being more creative will generally improve your happiness. If you want to focus on improving experiences, consider joining our Patreon where you’ll find the first season of our series “So, You Think You Can’t Draw” and other creativity videos to help you build your creative capacity. Our stuffed penguins make the perfect companion for any adventure, and if you want, you can even pay one forward. Check out “Penguinate! Positive Creativity” for essays, short stories, and ideas for practicing creativity.