There is no doubt that there is a correlation between money and happiness. People who know how their most basic needs will be covered are happier than those who don’t know how.
Although money can help with happiness, it does so up to a certain level. So those believing that need millions of dollars to be happy, and keep delaying their happiness until then, are about to be relieved.
Money and happiness
According to a 2010 study by Princeton University, most people reached a peak of happiness at an income of $75,000 dollars per year. What this means is that people earning more than $75k are not necessarily happier. In another study performed in 2009 people were surveyed before a 100% increase in their income and were asked to predetermine the increase in happiness. Many expected the same 100% increase in happiness but they found it not to be true. Most people only noticed a 9% improve in real happiness.
What I'm trying to say here is that money can bring happiness up to a certain point. To the point where you live without stress, live comfortably, and have extra money for the unexpected.
So how much money do you need? You can find your number by doing a list of all the things you need to live, things that you need to pay off, things you need to experience during this year, and the amount of money you feel you need to have saved for the unexpected things in life.
The amount of money for unexpected expenses is not the same for everyone but usually 3 months of living and debt expenses is enough. It all depends on you, though. Maybe you need 6 or 9 or 12 months of reserve. It’s all up to you. Just make sure you begin with small goals if you don’t have your savings up to your desired level yet and don’t stress too much.
What to do with the extra money
For those people whose income is greater than their level of comfort see the money not so much as extra but as a permission to get bigger, better and more expensive things. There is nothing wrong with spending more money as long as doing it brings you happiness, and at the same time you still have enough money to live stress free. But not everyone is in this situation.
Having extra money brings you a new level of perception. Your senses are no longer focusing on survival or accumulation. You physical senses are more open to other things that money cannot buy. I want you to put attention to this stage. Once you notice that money is no longer a worry or a necessity to be happy, you're ready to begin noticing your inner need for fulfillment in this life.
The continual strive to fulfill our internal need is what get us confused and we tend to accumulate more things instead. But we need to be aware that this internal need is not a call for more material things. It is a call that cannot be answered with anything from this material world. What we are looking for is not material; it’s something so much more than that.
So, if you already feel this internal need calling you, don’t confuse it and fall in the trap of changing your car every two years, or changing your phone every time a new one comes out, or buying certain brand because ‘everybody’ is doing it. Instead, pay attention to what you’re feeling inside, follow that direction, and live and spend your money on your own terms not on somebody else’s.
Use your money wisely
Instead of feeling that you need to spend the extra money you have, or that you need to worry to protect the money you have, I recommend you to just enjoy it. You can do it through many ways but I recommend you to: invest in yourself, plan for the changes in life, and give to others.
Invest in yourself. You can do with your money whatever you want, but I strongly suggest you to use your money to grow as a human being, to grow as a person, and to grow spiritually. Do you want to learn something new? Take a class, a course, or get a degree. Do you want to learn about a specific subject? Buy the books, interview people or travel to places where you can learn more about it. Do you want a specific item to help you grow? Buy it and enjoy it.
Plan for the changes in life. In this life there is something that never changes and that is change. Life is always changing and we wouldn’t want it any other way. It is part of the continual life process. As life changes, we should be financially ready for those changes when we have the possibility. That is why I recommend you to save for unexpected expenses. If you feel a change is coming, the more reason to increase the limit of the amount to be saved. Having enough money saved for the unexpected, allows you to focus more on the matters of the Soul.
Give to others. You should only give to others according to your capabilities. Some people are less altruistic that others and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you take advantage of this wonderful experience. Giving to others is better than receiving because giving something that comes from you is a validation that something of yours is valuable enough for others to want it and accept it.
No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.” –Henry Ward Beecher
Money is neither good nor bad, money only is. So, there’s nothing wrong with always expecting to have and receive money as long as it helps with your happiness. Don’t try to justify why you need money or what you’re going to do with it, just expect it and trust the feeling that you’re being financially covered by the Universe, so you can focus on more important things that benefit your Soul.
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