How to spend your money wisely and be happy

How to spend your money wisely and be happy

Money | Good Habits

Nia Bennett | Dec, 13 2019

The relationship we have with money is fascinating. Often people think spending money is either a sign of excessive wealth or lack of life experience. Some might even think spenders are foolish. Every time I spent money, my mom told me ‘Nia you are not a good saver’ or ‘you will never be able to retain money in the long run’. Let me tell you from my own life experience, this notion is far from the truth.

What’s interesting is since when did the notion of spending money result in inefficiency to be wealthy?

Your relationship with money can be positive or negative depending on your personal circumstance but money is never your enemy. Spending money doesn’t make you stupid. In fact, spending your money the right way will make your life happier, wholesome and fulfilling.

I know a lot of savers who aim to save 95% of their income. Doesn’t this sound a bit too unrealistic and that’s because it is? It is hard to retain a happy life where the sole focus is only to save. A lot of the excessive savers are miserable, jealous or bitter because they can never do nice things like go out on meals or treat themselves to a holiday. This is not because they cannot afford it, it’s because they’ve been brought up with the thought process that saving money is what’s going to make you rich and happy.

Look around you, the billionaires the world didn’t get there by clutching to every penny, they got there because of diligence, resilience and being smart with money but that’s an article for another time.

The best way to conscious spending is by making it such a natural process, where you can spend, save and still have ample left.

Doing this will help you stay happy and spend money without feeling guilty

1. Treat yourself to things that matter

You are a human being and treating yourself should come to you naturally. You should never put up with someone making you feel guilty for this. However, the key is to be reasonable. If buy something that puts you in debt, that might temporarily make you happy but lead to struggle, conflict or debt. For example, buying a designer outfit is the key to your happiness, do it smartly. Save a small amount every month and give your mind some time to rationalise if you really need those Gucci sunglasses but if you feel like you deserve them, then, by all means, buy it for yourself.

Treating yourself does not have to be excessive. You could do this with small gestures like trying a new restaurant, going out with friends, treating yourself to a spa. This way you reward yourself for all the hard work and it will help you stay happy.

2. Indulge in experiences

Experiences are like character development. Try things you have never done. This could be something you always wanted to do or just something completely new or random. Sign up for a pottery class or start taking scuba lessons. You could join your ramblers club or join a weekly cookery class or go a weekend getaway time and again. What this does is reminds you that there's more to life than work and saving money. Experiences keep us sane, it reminds us that there’s more to life and life is all about moments and memories. The more you have them, the happier you will be.

3. Take a chance

Do different things. If you are a routine person, try anything that can be different from this routine. Sometimes trying something new can be liberating. Even though I don’t gamble, occasionally I will buy lottery tickets or have a go at bingo. Just because, ‘why not’! I’ve won money and other times it was just fun to try it. As long as you don’t make gambling a habit, trying something new or betting on a horse (because you’ve never done it before) is completely okay.

4. Set a budget

Be strict about monthly allowance and only spend what you have. Don’t fall for other people’s gimmicks. Allow yourself some free rein on what is acceptable for you and make it a habit to put some reasonable money aside every month to do things you love, to be happy and to buy things or try things that make being human and being alive joyful.