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- Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
- If You Want to Be Rich & Happy: Don't Go to School?
- If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don't Go to
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Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
This chapter gives you a quick overview of the relationship between money and happiness. If you have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over your head, increased disposable income has just a small influence on your sense of well-being.
A recent article in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that, in general, our feelings for material purchases fade more quickly than they do for experiential purchases. Experiences, on the other hand, appreciate: Your memories of the things you do—vacations you take, concerts you go to—become fonder with time because you tend to recall the positives and forget the negatives.
American culture is consumption-driven. The media teaches you to want the clothes and cars you see on TV and the watches and jewelry you see in magazine ads.
In other words, if you want to be content, you should own—and want—less Stuff. Because Stuff has such an important role in your happiness and unhappiness , it deserves a capital S. In their personal-finance classic Your Money or Your Life Penguin, , Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin argue that the relationship between spending and happiness is non-linear, meaning every dollar you spend brings you a little less happiness than the one before it.
More spending does lead to more fulfillment—up to a point. But spending too much can actually have a negative impact on your quality of life. The authors suggest that personal fulfillment—that is, being content with your life—can be graphed on a curve that looks like this:. In this part of the curve, a little money brings a large gain in happiness.
If you have nothing, buying things really does contribute to your well-being. After the basics are taken care of, you begin to spend on comforts: a chair to sit in, a pillow to sleep on, a second pair of pants. These purchases, too, bring increased fulfillment. They make you happy, but not as happy as the items that satisfied your survival needs.
This part of the curve is still positive, but not as steep as the first section. Eventually your spending extends from comforts to outright luxuries. You move from a small apartment to a home in the suburbs, say, and you have an entire wardrobe of clothing.
You drink hot chocolate on winter evenings, sit on a new sofa, and have a library of DVDs. They push you to the peak of the Fulfillment Curve. Beyond the peak, Stuff starts to take control of your life. Buying a sofa made you happy, so you buy recliners to match. Your DVD collection grows from 20 titles to , and you drink expensive hot chocolate made from Peruvian cocoa beans. Soon your house is so full of Stuff that you have to buy a bigger home—and rent a storage unit.
But none of this makes you any happier. In fact, all of your things become a burden. Rather than adding to your fulfillment, buying new Stuff actually detracts from it. Life is grand. Your spending and your happiness are perfectly balanced. You have Enough. Yup, Enough gets a capital E, too.
Typically, as your income increases, your lifestyle grows with it. When your boss gives you a raise, you want to reward yourself you deserve it! All that new Stuff costs money to buy, store, and maintain. Gradually, your lifestyle becomes more expensive so you have to work harder to earn more. But when they get more money, they discover something else they want. Most Americans are stuck on this treadmill. According to the U. Back then, less than one-fifth of U.
Americans now own twice as many cars as they did in , and we have computers, iPods, and cellphones. Life is good, right? The median is usually different from the average. For example, in the group of numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, and , the average is 23, but the median is only 4.
If economists talked about average incomes instead of median incomes, their numbers would be skewed by billionaires like Warren Buffett. The hedonic treadmill leads to lifestyle inflation, which is just as dangerous to your money as economic inflation; both destroy the value of your dollars. Fortunately, you can control lifestyle inflation. You can opt out, step off the treadmill, and escape from the rat race. To do that, you have to set priorities and decide how much is Enough.
The next section shows you how. Kurt Vonnegut used to recount a conversation he had with fellow author Joseph Heller Vonnegut published this anecdote as a poem in the New Yorker. Some folks believe their worries would vanish if only they had a six-figure salary. Others play the lottery because they think winning would solve their problems. In a recent issue of Sports Illustrated , Pablo S. Lottery winners have the same kinds of problems. During the next few years, Post bought boats, mansions, and airplanes, but trouble followed him everywhere.
Of course, not every wealthy person is so profligate. In fact, according to Thomas Stanley and William Danko, most millionaires are careful with their money. In their classic book The Millionaire Next Door Pocket, , Stanley and Danko catalog the characteristics of the quiet millionaires—those who live in average neighborhoods, drive average cars, and work average jobs. These folks are able to build and maintain wealth because they keep their spending in check—even as their incomes rise.
Church, Charity, and Community has more about how to handle a windfall. Knowing that you have Enough can be better than having billions of dollars. Contentment comes from having Enough—not too little and not too much. But how much is Enough? And what you need to remain at the peak of the Fulfillment Curve The Fulfillment Curve will change with time, so Enough is a bit of a moving target. So take time to really think about what having Enough means to you.
Discuss it with your family, and explore the idea with your best friend. Is being debt-free Enough? Being able to pay cash for a new boat? Having a million dollars saved for retirement?
Decide what Enough means to you, and then write it down. Because the notion of Enough is so vague, the best way to approach it is to be mindful of your financial habits.
The act of consciously choosing how you spend can help you make purchases that are in line with your goals and values. The idea is to spend with intent, deliberately deciding where to direct your money instead of spending impulsively. Did I receive value from this equal to the amount I spent? Conscious spending is about striving to get the most bang for your buck. Is this spending aligned with my goals and values?
But if your extra-hot nonfat caramel latte is the highlight of your day, then buy the latte! Spend only on the things that matter to you.
The box below tells the story of Chris Guillebeau, who has made a lot of unorthodox choices to be sure his spending matches his priorities. Chris Guillebeau takes conscious spending to an extreme. One of his ambitions is to visit every country in the world by his 35th birthday. Travel is expensive, so in order to meet his goal, Guillebeau has made it his top priority. But I spend thousands of dollars to fly all over the world. To read more about his unconventional life, check out his blog at www.
If you have so much Stuff that you need to rent a storage shed, you have more than Enough. Getting rid of Stuff only hurts for a little bit. Some people find the process so liberating that they go farther and practice voluntary simplicity , even to the point of moving into a smaller home. Living Green: The Missing Manual suggests lots of great ways to de- clutter your life.
A balanced life is a fulfilling life. Once you define Enough, you gain a sense of freedom. You can surround yourself with family and friends, and rediscover the importance of social capital —the value you get from making personal connections with people in your community see Social Capital.
And because you no longer feel compelled to buy more Stuff, you can use your money to save for things that truly matter. Based on their survey, they came up with a three-part model:. About half of your happiness is biological. These include biological traits like age, race, nationality, and gender, as well as things like marital status, occupational status, job security, and income.
Whereas circumstances happen to you, intentional activity happens when you act by doing things like exercising, pursuing meaningful goals, or keeping a gratitude journal.
Because of this, many Americans spend their lives striving for more money and possessions—but find that this materialism makes them less happy.
If You Want to Be Rich & Happy: Don't Go to School?
This chapter gives you a quick overview of the relationship between money and happiness. If you have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over your head, increased disposable income has just a small influence on your sense of well-being. A recent article in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that, in general, our feelings for material purchases fade more quickly than they do for experiential purchases. Experiences, on the other hand, appreciate: Your memories of the things you do—vacations you take, concerts you go to—become fonder with time because you tend to recall the positives and forget the negatives. American culture is consumption-driven. The media teaches you to want the clothes and cars you see on TV and the watches and jewelry you see in magazine ads.
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If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don't Go to
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Chapter 1. It’s More Important to Be Happy Than to Be Rich
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Сквозь строй - надежная система, но ведь АНБ - ненасытный пожиратель информации, высасывающий ее из разнообразнейших источников по всему миру. Поглощение огромных объемов информации сродни беспорядочным половым связям: какие меры предосторожности ни принимай, рано или поздно подхватишь какую-нибудь гадость. Чатрукьян просмотрел список и изумился еще. Все файлы прошли проверку, в них не было обнаружено ничего необычного, а это означало, что ТРАНСТЕКСТ безукоризненно чист. На что же уходит такая уйма времени.
Мидж это как-нибудь переживет, - сказал он себе, усаживаясь за свой стол и приступая к просмотру остальных отчетов. Он не собирается выдавать ключи от директорского кабинета всякий раз, когда Мидж придет в голову очередная блажь. Не успел он приняться за чтение отчета службы безопасности, как его мысли были прерваны шумом голосов из соседней комнаты.
Никогда о таком не слышал. Беккер заглянул в справочник Управления общей бухгалтерской отчетности США, но не нашел в нем ничего похожего.