my joy budget

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When I saw the tweet “Why drinking lattes and working more can make you happier (and other bliss-making money advice) from @lvanderkam,” I obviously had to click on the link immediately. Lattes, working, and happiness? Sign me up!

It’s a great article- the kind where I want to copy and paste just about every quote! I’ll save us both the time- follow the link for the whole article but see below for my commentary.

Laura Vanderkam is a financial planning author who asserts that “Every dollar is a choice…So when you think more broadly about how you spend it, you’ll find that money can buy happiness.”

Small indulgences have an outsized effect on happiness. Buying a house and buying a latte will both make you happy when they come into your possession, but you only buy a house once every few years (or decades). You can buy a latte three times a week, and you’ll enjoy it every time. When it comes to happiness, the general thrust of the research is that frequency trumps intensity.

A house, a fancy car, or expensive furniture certainly make you happy when you buy these objects. But then you adapt to them. Happiness research is finding that variability forestalls adaptation. That’s one reason that travel, and getting together with friends, tends to make people happier than their furniture. Furniture is always the same. Every trip is a new adventure.

She’s speaking my language with the latte talk {well, I actually order soy mistos. Potato, potato}. But seriously- every time I savor a morning soy misto or an afternoon iced coffee or a special treat Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate {which I won’t be doing anymore since it contains gluten!}, I appreciate the heck out of it. It’s comfort and happiness in a cup.

As for every trip being a new adventure- uh, yeah! According to my personal research and calculations {pushes glasses up on nose}, I think our Bahamas cruise supports that theory 😉 It certainly brought me more happiness than an equally priced couch would have. As a side note and shameless plug, I recently created a Travel category to document my happiness-inducing trips.

So you now know probably already knew that coffee and travel are in my “joy budget.” So are comedy shows, drinks with friends, and concert tickets! What’s not? Make-up {I used to live for it}, most clothing {except the really special pieces}, boring on-the-go lunches {I can make them for cheaper at home}, books {I can get them fo’ free + late fees at the library}.

What’s in your joy budget? What’s not? 

Source: here via Amelia on Pinterest

For more on financial planning, see this post!

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