Monday, August 14, 2017

How to Find the Keys to Financial Happiness

When it comes to financial happiness, many people think of big houses, nice cars, vacation homes, fine dining, and heaps of cash in the bank. The truth is, financial happiness is really a subjective and personal choice. Like many things in life, people will differ in their definition of financial happiness and how to obtain it. To help you start pondering what true financial happiness means to you, check out our tips below. The first two are more abstract and deal with your personal values while the last two address behaviors of so-called financially happy people.

Setting and Reaching Goals

You’ve heard the age-old mantra that money can’t buy happiness, right? Well, it can, to an extent. Money certainly can buy happiness when you are spending it well. It’s not about how much you have, but how you use it! That’s why it’s important to know what you value most so you can create goals. Goals - big and small - help direct where you spend your dough. Writing out your short-term goals (ex. getting a pet) and long-term goals (ex. saving for retirement), along with ballpark figures needed to achieve them, will increase the likelihood that you reach them. People with clear goals are typically more financially happy people because they have focus and direction for their money.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Your relationship with money has a lot to do with your sense of happiness. What messages did you receive growing up from the adults in your life? Were you taught to view money as a tool, as a means of exchange, or as a scarce resource to chase and hoard? Spending some time reflecting on your attitude toward money will help bring your inner dialogue to light. Rewrite that inner dialogue to help conquer your money fears and build self-esteem.

Stay Organized

Few people want to hear this, but most financially happy people are organized. They have a handle on what’s coming in and what’s going out. While it isn’t always fun, creating a budget is a tried and true method for taking control of your personal finances. Tracking your credit score is another great way to stay in control. Improving your score could mean the difference in interest rates and thousands of dollars in interest saved over the years. It takes discipline, but it feels good to be in control of your money; one of the best ways to do that is to get organized.

Make Wise Investments

This last tip will vary from person to person. Some people are fascinated by stocks and bonds and will jump in head first to start investing. Others will feel comfortable with a less risky option of opening an IRA. Still others would rather trust an advisor or firm to handle investment decisions for them. Whatever the case you’re in – if you have a little to invest or a lot – a common thread in financially happy people involves some sort of investing. Setting aside what you can, as early as you can, might play a large role in your long-term financial happiness.

Have these suggestions sparked your internal dialogue around money? How do you define financial happiness?