Can I find the balance between money & happiness?

If I were to ask if money can buy happiness, many of you would say ‘No’. However, Gertrude Stein said, ‘Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop’. The key here is that you need to know WHERE TO SHOP.

Happiness is a state of mind. Boosting your income isn’t guaranteed to boost your happiness. However, if you have enough money to spend on something that brings you true happiness, you will be happier. So, how much is enough? It depends on what brings you fulfilment, joy and happiness. I call that the meaning of money.

Money itself has no meaning—you have to give it meaning. For some people, meaning is found in something that brings them love, peace and goodwill, such as taking care of loved ones, contributing to the community, and leaving a legacy. However, others spend money on buying new distractions for instant gratification, such as expensive cars and luxury items, to bring happiness. But the excitement normally only lasts for a short period, then they complain that money doesn’t buy happiness.

Before you decide to make lots of money and become wealthy, you’d better know the meaning of your money and the purpose of your life. Lots of ambitious and financially successful people know exactly how much money they want to make, but they fail to define what their life will look like with all the money they make.

I believe you can discover the purpose of your life within the seven areas in the following chart:

You will find that you may not need lots of money in some of the areas on the chart. For example, you do not need lots of money to be healthy; but you need money to fix your health problems once your health has suffered.

Your loved ones may want you to spend more time with them, rather than simply provide material things. However, if you are so broke that you can’t afford most things on your to-do list, that’s not going to bring you happiness and fulfilment either. More money will definitely expand your options in some areas and provide a better quality of life. Once you discover the meaning of your money, you can then decide how much you need to make to fulfil your needs, not the other way around.

From my experience, once you cultivate a clear vision of what a great life looks like for you, and you make your money to enhance the meaning of your life, you will maximize the benefit of money and live your life fully and happily.

Personal finance book | Your Best Life

Written more like a novel than a self-help guide, Your Best Life is designed to walk you through the journey of financial planning.