3 Keys to Feeling Happy about Your Spending

Numerous studies have been done recently surrounding how we, as humans, feel about spending money. What many agree on is that, in many cases, spending money doesn’t really help you feel truly happy. Sure, you might feel a bit of a high when you go on a shopping spree, but that feeling wears off. Rarely is it true happiness.

Figuring out how to find satisfaction in the way you spend money is far from a perfect science. Even so, there are some things you can do to increase the feelings of happiness associated with spending. Here are 3 keys to feeling happy about the way you spend your money:

1. Spend on What You Truly Value

One of the reasons that spending money can be so disappointing is that you so often realize that you just used good money to get something you don’t particularly care for. Instead of buying things that you think are “ok” or going to restaurants that you don’t really enjoy, spend money on what you truly value.

If you like spending time with loved ones, spend money on high-quality ingredients and have your loved ones over for dinner. I like to travel, so I never feel great about spending money on things. I’d rather have a good experience. I rarely feel bad after I’ve spent money visiting a place I’ve never been to before.

Think about your values, and what’s important to you. When you spend money on what you value, whether it’s a cause you believe in, a book you love, or your favorite restaurant, you’re likely to be happier.

2. Pay for the Important Stuff First

Earmark your money for the important items first. If you want to save for retirement, make sure you set aside money for that goal before you buy another trinket. If you want to make sure your child has access to music lessons, pay that bill before you go to the movies. Prioritize your spending so that if you have to drop something out of your budget for the month, it’s something that isn’t important to you. When you know that the most important things are covered first, you feel less anxious, and you are more likely to feel good about your financial situation in general.

3. Give to Others

Recent studies indicate that we are happier with our spending when we spend money on other people. If you buy a gift for someone, you get a better feeling than if you buy something for yourself. Donate to charity, or fix dinner for your spouse, and you are likely to feel happier about the money you just spent. Just shopping for someone else – looking for something you know he or she will like – can result in improved feelings of happiness.

Bottom Line

These three keys have something in common: Consciousness. In order to make these types of spending work, you have to think about how you want to use your money, and act as a director of resources, rather than just mindlessly use your money for random things. With a little thoughtfulness, you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel about spending.

What kind of spending makes you happy?

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.