When you think of ‘financial happiness’ that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘being rich’, right? A recent survey by Loqbox suggested that our members tend to classify financial wellbeing as being less to do with wealth, but rather that you don’t have to think (or worry) about money.
We all have different situations in life, and we’re all trying to do our best. So what can we do to improve our financial happiness to make sure we’re enjoying happier, healthier relationships with money?
Is money important for happiness?
There will always be people who naysay the idea that money equals happiness: “happiness can’t be bought”, and there will always be people who say money is essential: “you can’t enjoy life fully without it”. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter how little or much money you have, it’s how you manage money that helps your financial freedom and happiness levels.
For many of us, it can feel like our lifestyles are dictated by the money that we have available to us. But imagine you woke up tomorrow and were offered a surprise promotion at work, giving you quadruple your current salary. Wow, right?
Maybe you’d want a cleaner to take care of your household chores, a shiny new car, or a bigger house (yes, please!). These are all common things which people aspire to have that can undoubtedly make your life seem much happier and more comfortable.
But if we hadn’t learnt how to manage money successfully before taking on this larger spending (for instance, consider that a bigger home means bigger mortgage payments), the chances are that we’d adjust pretty quickly to that new salary. It’s likely we’d all find ourselves back in the cycle of spending to max capacity and waiting for payday each month.
It’s not about the amount we have in the bank, it’s the management of money that is the magic solution here.
What is financial happiness?
Good question! Close your eyes and imagine how you’d feel if you had all the following things in place. You’ve worked really hard to have:
- cleared any debts
- an emergency fund in place
- plenty of savings towards your important life goals
- Insurance in place to cover your health and income (so you don’t have to use up your savings)
On a scale of one to ten, how do you think you’d feel? Perhaps it isn’t the kind of emotion that makes you feel elated like you’ve won the lottery, or as adrenaline-pumped as going on a rollercoaster. But would you feel content?
Does this idea make you feel secure, and open to opportunities? Would less financial stress mean you have more time to focus on the things that really matter to you?
What are the three steps of financial happiness?
Build a rainy day fund
Step one is all about bracing yourself for potential stormy weather. The first focus is to get out of any debts with high interest, and then build yourself an emergency fund. Of course, the more you have the better, but on a realistic level, three months of your essential outgoings should be the goal.
With that money aside, you’re more likely to feel a little less concerned should the worst happen. This should lower your stress levels and help raise your happiness barometer.
Budget money for the things that make you happy
Step two of financial happiness is to start saving for the things you really want in life. Try to resist the expectations of others and focus on your personal definition of this one. After the security of an emergency fund is in place, you’re free to put a plan in place for your big goals.
We all have achievements that we’d like to tick off our life list, and most of those goals will cost a fair bit of money in one way or another. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can help you to live a happier and more comfortable life.
Protect all your hard work
The third step of financial happiness is to protect all you’ve achieved (and well done, you). You don’t want to find yourself in a seriously sticky situation that unexpectedly costs you lots of money and eats up all your savings.
Protecting your home, life, car and income with insurance can help you sustain the life you’ve worked hard to build. Follow these steps and you should be a lot closer to financial happiness, and we hope Loqbox can help you on that journey.