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Spend Wisely- Day 14

Posted Nov 16 2010 5:26pm

It's only Tuesday and I already accomplished a lot of my week goals this week. Yesterday I accomplished a bunch of errands and today I got my hair cut and (while at the hairdresser) started a book. Yes! That's one of the things I love about my hairdresser- we talk for a bit and then she lets me just read my book.

I know I've mentioned I've been reading the book The Happiness Project and I've found so many interesting points in it, I'm not sure I'll ever have time to blog about them all. Last night I was reading the chapter about spending money. I think money is a fascinating topic since everyone has such differing opinions based on their own backgrounds, experiences and goals.
I've recently did a 180 in my thoughts about money. One day I woke up and decided not to stress about it anymore. At first I faked my lack of stress, but then slowly I found I really didn't stress about it (the old- fake it til you make it philosophy). I set my bank accounts to do my work for me (moving money around and what not) and now I just check in once a week or so to make sure I'm not down at $0 :) In our house we have 2 people with good, full time jobs + extra income through my tutoring and Eric's after school work. Both of us are actually pretty good with money (no compulsive shoppers among us- just a small love for purses- me and sneakers-Eric). We have no kids (aka money suckers haha). Clearly, there is no reason to stress!
In theory I always knew that I should spend money on things that will make me happy. That's kind of obvious right? But I guess the hard part is all the questions... What will make you happy? Could you have too much of something that makes you happy, and then you won't be as happy? What can you do without and still be happy? Is it better to be really happy for a short amount of time or reasonably happy in the long term? Your answers may be different than mine. My answers may change over time.
The other hard part is living your answers these questions. Yes, money does not buy happiness alone. But, can you use the money you do have to make you happy? Will it make me happy to spend $25 on a manicure? No. Will it make me happy to spend $25 at Bertuccis with Eric or friends? Yes.
In the midst of my lack of stress about money, I feel like I am finally getting better at this. I naturally ask myself if a purchase will make me happy (for more than 5 minutes) before purchasing. Eric and I decided together we want to get all family members "event gifts" for Christmas so that we can spend time with them instead buying "stuff" that may provide short term happiness. This is not to say that I don't think material presents can provide long term happiness, I just think we are better at picking out events that provide happiness :) I've continued to move money into our "honeymoon" fund even though the honeymoon is technically over because I know seeing new places and spending time together makes us happy.
Of course you can also plan events with family and friends that don't cost money at all (or save you money)- cooking a meal at home together, going for a walk/run, or baking cookies. Although- nothing is really free though: you have to buy that food and those running shoes :)
What do you buy that brings you happiness? What do you choose to save on?

For Day 14 of the blog challenge, I'm supposed to show a picture I love. While at my hair appointment today, I considered what makes a picture one that I love. I decided that I most love pictures where I remember being really, truly happy when it was taken... I'm kinda a happy girl, so you'll get a few...
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I could show more... but as it is I clearly don't understand the meaning of the word "one." :)
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