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Money Stress: Making Smart Money Choices for Less Stress and More Happiness

Be Smart With Your Money and Be Happier


Updated June 30, 2012

Money Stress: Making Smart Money Choices for Less Stress and More Happiness
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It’s a common misconception that making more money will bring more happiness and less stress, but research doesn’t show this to be the case. While more money brings a momentary thrill and a few new things, people generally adjust their lifestyles in ways that don’t increase their overall happiness level or decrease stress. A better goal would be to be smarter with the money you have: buy fewer things that you don’t need, get out of debt (if you’re in it), and spend your money on things that will truly make you happy and decrease your stress level, including your future. This creates more of a feeling of abundance and personal freedom than having more money but spending it all on more expensive toys. The following are concrete ways you may be able to repurpose your finances in ways that will increase happiness and decrease stress.

Cut Down On Your Debt

If you’re in debt and it causes you stress, look for things you can cut out of your budget (like the morning lattes, dinners out, new clothes that you don’t need) and put it toward paying off credit card debt. You’ll eventually have something that you value more than these extras: a chance at financial freedom and peace of mind.

Be Smart With Spending

From now on, before you buy new things, really think about whether they will really improve your quality of life, of if they’ll just cause you stress (from having less money) and eventually add clutter to your home. Spending less can reduce stress.

Use Your Money To Do What You Want

After cutting the extras out of your budget, if you don’t have great amounts of debt to pay off, you can think about hiring people to do things for you that you hate doing, that take time away from activities you’d really like to be doing. For example, you could have someone come and clean your house while you instead take your kids to the park; you could hire an assistant at work to offset your workload so that you can have more time for yourself; hiring someone to help de-clutter your house can free up the time it would take you to do so, and you’ll have more of a haven to come home to.

Trade Old Stuff For New Experiences

You may consider having a garage sale or selling items on eBay if you have too much ‘stuff’, and spending the money on taking classes, going on a vacation with your family, or doing something else that would create positive memories, enrich your life, and help you combat burnout.

For more on relieving money stress, visit The Financial Stress Section.

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