MONEY DOESN'T BUY YOU HAPPINESS - OR DOES IT?

Most of us wouldn’t turn a lotto win away, because after all, we can all do with more money! Whether more money makes us happy however, is a contentious issue, but it’s likely to depend on our definition of happiness.

If you want the world to be a perfect place and everything to go your way, then more money won’t turn your life into a nirvana, but if you want a life free of financial worries, then more money can certainly achieve your goals.

Defining what makes you happy

The issue of happiness and how it is defined was at the core of a recent study by Australian Unity. Their 2015 report – What Makes Us Happy? – revealed that happiness depends on three factors: a sense of purpose, good relationships and how much control you have over your finances.

Immediately, you can see that your financial situation is only one part of how you measure your happiness, so unless you have a sense of purpose and great relationships, even winning the lotto won’t make you totally happy!

Clearly, relationships and a sense of purpose are questions for another time, what I want to deal with here, is how you can help yourself to feel better about your finances. After all, if you feel more secure financially, then that can reduce any pressure on your intimate relationships and help you to discover a sense of purpose.

How much money do you need to feel happier?

When you look at the Australian Unity Report, you can see that the less money you have, the happier you become when you get more! For example, if you change jobs and your income increases from $40,000 to $55,000 per year, your level of happiness increases.

The amount of money that makes you happy is all relative however, because, as you can imagine, someone earning $200,000 a year won’t be hugely impressed with a $15,000 a year pay rise. In other words, their level of happiness won’t be increased as much as the person earning $55,000 - they will need a bigger pay rise to make them feel happier.

This example clearly indicates that it’s not the amount of money that makes you happy, it’s how it makes you feel. So if you can feel more in control of your finances, it should make you feel happier!

How can you feel more financially secure?

Whatever your current financial situation, feeling more in control of your finances will make you happier. Paying bills on time and having a pot of emergency money to hand are two ways that you can improve your financial wellbeing, and the key to financial security is to learn how to budget.

Initiating a savings plan and not borrowing money for your living expenses are both important steps that will keep you in control on a daily basis. After all, the more money you borrow for items that are not assets, the more money you fritter away and the less happier you become. To be happy with your finances, you need to be in control!

If you need help organising your financial future, call me (Amanda McCall) on 07 3356 6929 or book your appointment online.

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