There is an old saying that money buys happiness. Although many people think that money brings satisfaction, this is not really the case. A rich life depends on the intangible quality that makes a person’s content, not monetary content.
Consider all the rich people who have been married more than once, who have gone bankrupt despite making millions, or whose family life has been completely disrupted. Money did not solve their problems, nor did it provide comfort and satisfaction.
There are some basic life lessons to embrace.
If it can be embraced, our lives can be filled with more vivid and long-lasting memories. It will not be based on transient and unsustainable fads.
Advertising should be viewed with a certain degree of skepticism.
Although advertisements provide us with information about the products we are considering buying, the main objective is to convince us to buy things. It is designed to present a product in the best possible light and create the need to obtain it. Advertising tries to change the way we think so that we think what we don’t have is better than what we have.
In many circumstances, the new is no better than the old. It is important to keep this in mind when viewing any form of advertising. Advertising can be useful when there is a specific need so that we can find the best product to fill that need. Also, it can tell us when we should choose one product over a similar one.
However, if the intent is to buy something outside of our budget, the product and its advertising will not be in our best interest.
Failure can motivate us to achieve better things.
Many people fear failure. Failed test scores or failed business can send some into a panic. But failure can be a starting point.
Provided we examine exactly what failed and how, failure can bring to light what we did wrong. We can investigate what didn’t work and devote ourselves to doing better next time. Failure is often the beginning of success.
Our expenditures should be based on building memories, not acquiring things.
Impulse buying provides temporary satisfaction. Look at garage sales. How much did all this stuff originally cost? Now it is no longer required.
When buying, we need to think long-term and long-term. Current trends and fads fade. You’d better put your time and money into creating a quality of life — spending time with family and friends, working with a charity, or creating photo-worthy moments.
The biggest killer of our long-term goals is impulse buying.
We can see a bright financial future for ourselves based on what we want to achieve, and allocate our resources to make it happen. We set a goal and work hard to achieve it. Then all of a sudden we see something “a must”. So instead of sticking to our plan, we buy “what should be”. Now our financial goal is far away and it will take much longer to achieve.
Impulsive buying satisfies the present now, but destroys our future. If we can remember this, we can make a plan to avoid temptation.
Money does not buy happiness.
We’ve heard this a lot. However, we may still think that the solution to our problems is more money.
If so, why would lottery winners want to remain anonymous and end up beating their winnings in a short amount of time? How many millionaires have troubled relationships or family disputes? How many have discovered that money can be more of a problem than a good one? Millionaires are not immune to the problems life throws at us.
We need to find our happiness in those enduring, memorable, and rewarding activities. Happiness is not based on things but on the personal connections we make every day.
Mary Fox Lockett, MBA, CLU, ChFC is a finance instructor at the B.I. Moody III School of Business at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.