happiness http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/688/all en-US 5 Reasons a Big Paycheck Is Not Worth Staying in a Job You Hate http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-510231594.jpg" alt="a paycheck isn&#039;t worth a job you hate" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Life is a journey filled with conundrums. An unwritten rule of thumb is that in order to gain something, you have to give up something. And the place this truism is experienced the most is in the area of finances.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the biggest dilemmas people face at some point in life is should you sacrifice quality of life and personal happiness for money? And if so, for how long?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Working a job you hate to gain financial independence is a sacrifice worth considering. However, before you sell your soul and doom yourself to a life of misery for the almighty dollar, here are a few reasons that choosing a paycheck over passion may not be worth it.</span></p> <h2>1. &nbsp;Purpose trumps paper</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Millennials are thought to be idealistic dream chasers. McGraw-Hill Education conducted a 2014 study called </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Grad Gap</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and found that 73 percent of graduating college students value finding a job that allows them to do what they love over a job that pays well. They also found that 45 percent of students prefer a job that benefits society over a job that pays a high salary.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And while millennials may be starry-eyed idealists, they may be onto something when it comes to living a fulfilled life. Having a purpose not steeped in materialism is the key to true prosperity. Financial independence is a noble goal, but the sum total of your life has to be about more than being able to retire comfortably. Who did you help? How did you make the world better? If you died penniless but profoundly impacted the lives of those around you, would you count your life a success or a failure? Financial independence is important, but is it the most important thing?</span></p> <h2>2. &nbsp;Money can't buy happiness</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&quot;Money can't buy happiness.&quot; So cliché, yet so true. Meaningful work helps to motivate, challenge, and fulfill you more than money does. According to renowned psychologist Frederick Herzberg &mdash; author of </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Motivation to Work</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> &mdash; people seek gratification based on higher-level psychological needs such as achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, and the nature of the work itself. Things such as pay raises, working conditions, and job security are secondary.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once you have enough money and all of your needs and some of your wants are met, an incremental pay increase loses its motivational force. Loving what you do (or at least not hating it) is what makes you happy. Working a job you loathe and perpetually chasing the dollar will make you far unhappier than wearing secondhand clothes and driving a hooptie. (See also: </span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p> <h2>3. &nbsp;Earning a high wage is not the only path to financial independence</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A misconception connected to the dilemma of staying in or quitting a dreadful job is that you can't maintain financial freedom if you take a pay cut. That simply isn't true. Earning a high wage will get to your goal quicker, but at what cost?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Financial independence isn't gained or sustained by earning a good wage. What if you lose your job, encounter an expensive health crisis, or have to provide long-term care for a friend or family member? Your ability to become and remain financially independent is determined by your ability to use what you have wisely. It's linked to your capacity to live frugally, cut costs, and use creativity and ingenuity to solve financial challenges. Your financial independence lies in your aptitude for working smarter, not harder. </span></p> <h2>4. &nbsp;Your mental health is affected</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Going to a job you hate, day in and day out, slowly transforms you into a different person. Your mental health suffers. Countless studies show that workplace stress can lead to depression and anxiety. A 2011 BMJ Publishing Group study even found that being unemployed can be better for your mental health than having a job you hate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Staying in a negative environment saps your strength, drive, and ambition. And all that negativity affects your relationships. It can lead you to lash out and mistreat your loved ones, or it can cause you to withdraw. You miss important moments and find yourself riddled with guilt because even when you are physically present, you are emotionally absent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A bad job is akin to being in a toxic relationship. If your best friend were in a relationship where they were being taken advantage of, mistreated, and unappreciated, you would encourage them to value themselves and leave. That advice is apropos for you in a terrible job, too. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">(See also: </span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p> <h2>5. &nbsp;It can kill you</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Staying in a job you hate drastically diminishes your health. Research shows that continuous amounts of stress can compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. High-stress work environments also cause sleep deprivation, weight gain, brain fog, and can exacerbate mental illness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a 2015 study, a research team from Harvard Business School and Stanford University measured harmful workplace conditions' influence on life expectancy. The study found that stressful workplaces make it more likely for workers to die earlier than those in jobs they love. The study found that working a stressful job that you hate can shave years off your life. Let that sink in: Is higher pay worth a shorter life?</span></p> <h2>Develop an exit strategy and quit</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you hate your job, feel stressed, depressed, and grossly unhappy, it's time to act. Develop an exit plan. Set a date to quit and begin working toward that goal. Get more training, find an internship, and begin networking with people in the industry where you desire to work. As you begin your career search, you should also start scaling back financially and lower your cost of living. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Save as much money as possible while aggressively paying down any consumer debt you have. Be willing to accept less pay and work a side gig to help cover the loss. Be intentional about changing your work situation, and see it through. Your wellbeing depends on it.</span></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Reasons%2520a%2520Big%2520Paycheck%2520Is%2520Not%2520Worth%2520Staying%2520in%2520a%2520Job%2520You%2520Hate.jpg&amp;description=5%20Reasons%20a%20Big%20Paycheck%20Is%20Not%20Worth%20Staying%20in%20a%20Job%20You%20Hate"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Reasons%20a%20Big%20Paycheck%20Is%20Not%20Worth%20Staying%20in%20a%20Job%20You%20Hate.jpg" alt="5 Reasons a Big Paycheck Is Not Worth Staying in a Job You Hate" width="250" height="374" /></span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change">6 Reasons It&#039;s Never Too Late for a Career Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income bad jobs burnout financial independence happiness Health mental health quitting stress unhappy Fri, 09 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Denise Hill 2101408 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fish_holiday_concept.jpg" alt="Fish holiday concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know a family like the Joneses. Maybe they have a gorgeous 3,000 square foot house in a posh neighborhood, while you're stuck renting a 750 square foot two-bedroom apartment. Maybe they roll up to work in a brand-new BMW Z4, while you're still puttering along in your 2001 Honda Civic. Or perhaps they go on amazing trips to Tuscany and Machu Picchu, while you've had to make do with staycations for the past few years.</p> <p>No matter who your personal Joneses are, you may feel green with envy when you see the things they have that you can't afford. It can be enough to make you spend money you don't have just to keep up with them.</p> <p>But before you purchase something you can't afford, take the time to learn what's really happening behind closed doors with the Joneses or other families like them. They may have the material things that you want, but they are also paying some steep prices for them.</p> <p>Read on to learn what money lessons the mythical Joneses can teach you, before you start trying to keep up with them:</p> <h2>1. They pay for their lifestyle with debt</h2> <p>You might be wondering how the Joneses are able to afford all of the great stuff they own. Chances are, they're in debt. According to a 2017 CreditCards.com survey, 74 percent of Americans are in some kind of debt. And according to NerdWallet's <em>2017 American Household Credit Card Debt Study</em>, the average U.S. household that is carrying credit card debt owes a whopping $15,654 to credit card companies. For 41 percent of respondents, the reason given for getting into so much credit card debt is &quot;spending more than I can afford on unnecessary purchases.&quot;</p> <p>So before you are tempted to put a luxury vacation or cute $400 shoes on your credit card, remember that other people who are living it up in Bali in their Jimmy Choos may be coming home to a truly stressful credit card bill that will take years to pay off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>2. Keeping up with them means buying depreciating assets</h2> <p>If you think about it, nearly all of the material items that you wish you owned are things that lose value over time. Cars, clothes, furniture, electronics, and jewelry all depreciate, which means you are spending money on things that simply do not last.</p> <p>While it is perfectly acceptable to spend your money in ways that make you happy &mdash; even if that includes spending money on depreciating assets &mdash; it's foolhardy to spend a great deal of money on things you only care about because they impress other people. You are chasing the trappings of wealth while actually reducing your own net worth with depreciating assets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Purchases With Financing Options That Depreciate Fast</a>)</p> <h2>3. They're not happier than you</h2> <p>We tend to view folks who have more wealth than us as being happier. After all, if you can buy anything your heart desires, you must be more contented in your life.</p> <p>There are two problems with this assumption. First, the majority of the Joneses aren't actually wealthier than their neighbors, they're just more indebted. This means they are actually more stressed, even though they may not show it to you.</p> <p>Secondly, studies have shown that money doesn't actually buy happiness above a certain level of income (about $75,000 per year) that guarantees some financial stability and comfort. Above that point, wealth can become more of a burden than a boon. For instance, wealthy individuals may worry about who they can trust and which of their friends love them for them, rather than for their stuff. This leads to a vicious cycle of always wanting to have the latest and greatest possessions to impress one's friends &mdash; but never being sure if the friends will be there unless there's a new round of latest and greatest purchases.</p> <h2>4. They have their own Joneses they're trying to keep up with</h2> <p>The world is full of Joneses. You might envy your next door neighbors with the boat, but they're jealous of the family two streets over who have a yacht. And, of course, that family wishes they could afford the 100-foot yacht that their friends own. No matter where you are financially, there will always be someone who has more than you do.</p> <p>The truth of the matter is that comparing your life to anyone else's is a fool's errand, because we all have things we envy in other people. Even if you were able to magically trade places with your own personal Joneses, you would not suddenly feel content, because there would be a new set of Joneses to envy.</p> <h2>Gratitude is the antidote to Jones envy</h2> <p>The best way to deal with an attack of jealousy toward the Joneses is to take the time to think about all of the abundance in your life. When you list everything you feel grateful to have, including your family, your friends, your warm and safe home, and even your favorite hobby, the things you don't have suddenly become much less important.</p> <p>The Joneses may seem to have the ideal life, but taking a minute to think through all of your own blessings can help you remember that yours is pretty great, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Money%2520Lessons%2520You%2520Can%2520Learn%2520From%2520the%2520Joneses.jpg&amp;description=4%20Money%20Lessons%20You%20Can%20Learn%20From%20the%20Joneses"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Money%20Lessons%20You%20Can%20Learn%20From%20the%20Joneses.jpg" alt="4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances">Why Even Millionaires Aren&#039;t Happy About Their Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature">11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rise-above-financial-jealousy">How to Rise Above Financial Jealousy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-credit-score">7 Reasons You Are More Than Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle competition debt deprecation envy happiness jealousy keeping up with the joneses materialistic possessions value Tue, 30 Jan 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2087011 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Signs You're Financially Average — And How to Improve http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-youre-financially-average-and-how-to-improve <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-signs-youre-financially-average-and-how-to-improve" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/helpless_woman_having_financial_problems.jpg" alt="Helpless woman having financial problems" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are plenty of average statistics that help us identify trends. The average height for women in the U.S. is 5 feet 4 inches. The average American lives to the ripe old age of 78.74 years. The average four-year-old asks 437 questions a day &mdash; OK, that's actually a myth. However, spend an afternoon with a pint-size philosopher, and that myth may be more accurate than we think.</p> <p>When it comes to personal finances, aiming for average is a trend you want to avoid in most cases.</p> <p>Data from the 2014 U.S. Census lists the average American salary at just north of $70,000. But the average American is living close to the edge, financially speaking. The average household debt is $132,000. The average new car loan term is 65 months. The average person between ages 55 and 64 only has around $104,000 put away for retirement. And the average American doesn't have $500 in a savings account to cover emergencies.</p> <p>If you're living from paycheck to paycheck, unable to pay your credit card balances in full each month, or neglecting your retirement savings, chances are you're an average American. Here are a few things to focus on in order to relocate to the land of better-than-average.</p> <h2>1. Pay off debt and keep debt low</h2> <p>Improving your savings rate is difficult when living up to or beyond your income levels is buffered by debt. Continually taking on additional payments can make it very difficult to redirect disposable cash to meet savings goals. Eliminating debt carried month-to-month on credit cards, student loans, or auto loans will free up money, save on interest and late fees, and remove the added stress of managing those bills every month.</p> <p>Planning your spending, saving to pay cash for big ticket items, and building an emergency fund will stave off the need to use debt to support your lifestyle. You may need to work with a financial counselor to help you craft a plan to improve your money management habits and pay off debt quickly. Paying off and staying out of debt will make you an above-average financial rock star in this country. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy First Steps to Paying Off Debt</a>)</p> <h2>2. Become a savings superstar</h2> <p>You might not be able to save 60 percent of your income, like the blogger behind DistilledDollar.com did, starting tomorrow. Actually, Matt's ability to save evolved over the past three years. &quot;We started out saving just 10 percent of our income,&quot; he says.</p> <p>By looking at ways to cut back on simple expenses like his dry cleaning or making meals at home, Matt was able to make adjustments that added up. Moving to a smaller apartment within walking distance from his job allowed him to cut his overhead and ditch the need for a car. Fewer expenses means Matt keeps more of his hard-earned cash.</p> <p>When you save 10 percent of your income (excluding retirement savings), you're already doing much more for your savings than the average American. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-personal-savings-rate-matters?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Your Personal Savings Rate Matters</a>)</p> <h2>3. Learn to invest</h2> <p>Losing money is not on the average person's to-do list. So, I understand why many Americans tread lightly here. But learning to invest your money is a must if you want to break out of the average doldrums of financial life.</p> <p>Hilary Hendershott, certified financial planner and host of <em>The Profit Boss</em> podcast, says that most people do not max out their 401(k) retirement accounts. &quot;Start there. You can save $18,500 a year if you're under 50,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Beyond maximizing the benefits of your tax-deferred investment options, dipping your toe into the world of investing may start with interviewing financial advisers to help you navigate these new waters. Seek out independent advisers who are fiduciaries &mdash; this just means they will advise you based on <em>your </em>best interests.</p> <p>However you decide to begin, Hendershott suggests you steer clear of national financial news television programs. &quot;It's all financial drama. There's always something wrong. It's not their job to help you make prudent choices. It is their job to get your eyes on the screen to sell advertising,&quot; she says. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News</a>)</p> <h2>4. Practice an attitude of gratitude</h2> <p>When we're living beyond our means using debt to prop up an inflated lifestyle, a lack of contentment may be the issue. A 2016 Harris Poll identified what they called the American Happiness Index to be 31 out of a scale of 100. That number is down slightly, but hovers in the low 30s pretty consistently, year to year.</p> <p>Appreciating what you have until you can save and pay cash for its replacement will help you avoid living financially overextended and being unhappy like so many of your neighbors.</p> <h2>5. Audit your associations</h2> <p>Speaking of those around you, Jim Rohn famously quipped, &quot;You're the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.&quot; Rohn, a motivational speaker and successful businessman, was likely leaning on the law of averages to back up his claim. That is, the outcome in any situation will be the average of all potential outcomes.</p> <p>If the theory is correct, to improve financially, start hanging with other people who are fiscally responsible. Think about it. If your girlfriends are known for planning last-minute getaways and you have a penchant for plastic, these trips can contribute to financial instability. If your family places a premium on material items without regard for the ability to pay, you might be absorbed into that overspending way of life.</p> <p>Should you drop your friends and family like a bag of bricks because they overspend? That's not realistic. Instead, try spending more time with those who may be less financially responsible on <em>your</em> terms. Invite them to events and outings that are budget-friendly. Meanwhile, spend more time with those in your circle who will appreciate and support your journey to financial self-improvement. Seek out groups in the form of investment clubs or money meetups that will expose you to like-minded buds. In this way, you can balance out the negative financial influences. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-signs-youre-financially-average-and-how-to-improve&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Signs%2520You%2527re%2520Financially%2520Average%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520And%2520How%2520to%2520Improve_0.jpg&amp;description=5%20Signs%20You're%20Financially%20Average%20%E2%80%94%20And%20How%20to%20Improve"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Signs%20You%27re%20Financially%20Average%20%E2%80%94%20And%20How%20to%20Improve_0.jpg" alt="5 Signs You're Financially Average &mdash; And How to Improve" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toni-husbands">Toni Husbands</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-youre-financially-average-and-how-to-improve">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-perks-of-being-in-your-20s">The Financial Perks of Being in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-just-5-a-day-can-improve-your-financial-future">How Just $5 a Day Can Improve Your Financial Future</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances">Why Even Millionaires Aren&#039;t Happy About Their Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-really-need-to-pay-yourself-first-seriously">7 Reasons You Really Need to Pay Yourself First (Seriously)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt repayment financially average friends gratitude happiness investing personal audit saving money Tue, 30 Jan 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Toni Husbands 2093196 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Even Millionaires Aren't Happy About Their Finances http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tear_falling_from_face_on_us_dollar_bill.jpg" alt="Tear falling from face on US dollar bill" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How much money would you need in your bank account to make you happy? Would $250,000 do the trick? Maybe a cool $1 million? How about $5 million?</p> <p>Well, a study from the Harvard Business School asked over 4,000 millionaires that question. The magic figure, it seems, is around $8 million; less than that, and life just wasn't giving them everything they needed. However, the vast majority of respondents said that to be truly happy, they'd need far more than that.</p> <p>How can any of us be happy if that massive amount of cash isn't making those people content? Or to put it another way, what can we learn from these loaded malcontents?</p> <h2>Things are not as important as experiences</h2> <p>Whether you die a pauper or a billionaire, it is highly unlikely that you will look back at your life on your deathbed and wish you had bought more stuff.</p> <p>A 2015 UBS Investor Watch polled 2,215 millionaires to learn what their biggest regrets were. It turns out, rich people have the same regrets as the rest of us; namely, not spending more time with family, focusing too much on career, not traveling enough, and not taking more chances.</p> <p>Rich or poor, we can all agree that &quot;stuff&quot; brings only fleeting happiness. Indeed, when most people grab something from a burning house, it's usually a photo album, letters, or other personal keepsakes. Everything else can be replaced, and in many cases will be obsolete in a few years anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated</a>)</p> <h2>Don't try to keep up with your richer neighbors</h2> <p>Trying to keep up with the Joneses is never going to work out for you, and that is true regardless of where you live and what you earn. And even once you strike it &quot;rich,&quot; the problem doesn't go away.</p> <p>Millennial and Gen X millionaires are facing this age-old struggle more than other generations. In all likelihood, social media and technology are to blame. According to the UBS Investor Watch survey, 48 percent of millennial millionaires feel they must keep up with the Joneses. Coming in right behind them are Gen X millionaires, at 44 percent. By contrast, only 22 percent of baby boomer millionaires feel they have to &quot;keep up.&quot; It's said that we measure our misery by our neighbors, and now those neighbors are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, showing everyone just how fabulous their lives are. You really don't know the back story, though. They could be drowning in debt, in a marriage that's falling apart, or dealing with severe emotional problems.</p> <p>Focus on yourself and your family and friends. Are you good? Great! Don't pay any mind to the trappings of other people's lives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a>)</p> <h2>Your time on this planet is finite</h2> <p>From the moment you are born, the clock is ticking. No one knows just how long that clock will tick, but one thing is for certain &mdash; one day, it will stop. So many millionaires and billionaires realize this too late. They spend decades amassing great fortunes, spending weekends and evenings doing deals and taking business trips. Before they know it, they're 65 and have 20 years (not the best 20, either) to make up for lost time.</p> <p>Don't find yourself chasing the almighty dollar for so long that you have no time left to enjoy it. Instead, make plans to see and do the things you want to do while you are young and healthy enough to really enjoy them.</p> <p>Have you always dreamed of visiting Australia or Iceland? Find a way to make it happen. Want to backpack around Europe? How can you do it sooner rather than later?</p> <p>When it comes to money and treasures, you can't &quot;take it with you.&quot; But you can live life to the fullest, and look back on years of wonderful memories. Your time will always be way more valuable than money.</p> <h2>Good health is critical to happiness</h2> <p>Money can buy you almost anything. When it comes to health care, it can get you the best doctors, the most advanced treatments, and access to medicines and cures that many people just cannot afford. But when you're sick, you're sick &mdash; and that can have a huge impact on your happiness.</p> <p>Steve Jobs or David Bowie would have gladly traded their great wealth for good health and a long life, but they both died from cancer. Queen Elizabeth I said, &quot;All my possessions for a moment of time&quot; on her deathbed. So, you may not be rich, but you should do everything you can to stay healthy. Exercise, a balanced diet, and plenty of laughter are all invaluable.</p> <h2>Friends and family cannot be bought</h2> <p>Well, some &quot;friends&quot; can, but are they really the kind of friends you'd want anyway? Rich or poor, you need good people around you. True friends and trusted family members are essential to a happy life. And almost every rich person out there has said that they wished they had spent more time with their parents, children, and siblings instead of working day and night to make the millions.</p> <p>Learn from these people. Family and friends are more important than money. Make time for them, and when you've done that &hellip; make even more time. They're worth far more than possessions or fat bank accounts.</p> <h2>Do more of what makes you happy</h2> <p>It's easier said than done. After all, how many of us are stuck in a job we really do not like, but have no other choice because bills need to be paid?</p> <p>Many millionaires spend decades doing things they don't like only because it forged their path to wealth. However, they also regret spending so much time being miserable for the sake of money.</p> <p>So, even if you are in a job that is draining the life out of you, find ways to balance it with the stuff you really love to do. Maybe you can turn your favorite hobby into a side-hustle &mdash; one that could eventually become profitable and become your main source of income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Signs It's Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520Even%2520Millionaires%2520Aren%2527t%2520Happy%2520About%2520Their%2520Finances.jpg&amp;description=Why%20Even%20Millionaires%20Aren't%20Happy%20About%20Their%20Finances"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20Even%20Millionaires%20Aren%27t%20Happy%20About%20Their%20Finances.jpg" alt="Why Even Millionaires Aren't Happy About Their Finances" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-youre-financially-average-and-how-to-improve">5 Signs You&#039;re Financially Average — And How to Improve</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-traits-of-people-who-live-debt-free">8 Traits of People Who Live Debt-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle family friends happiness keeping up with the joneses materialistic millionaires possessions regrets Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 2091491 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Problems You Can Solve With a Good Attitude http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_on_a_grass_smiling.jpg" alt="Man on a grass smiling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money. They say it's the root of all evil, but we all need it to survive. Your money problems can really bring you down, and that creates a horrible Catch-22 situation. You can't reduce your stress without more money, but you can't make more money while you're stressed out.</p> <p>However, with a shift in your attitude, despite whatever money problems you may have, you can work toward real solutions. Here are five ways you can solve some of your money problems just by thinking about them in a different way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways Money Does Buy Happiness</a>)</p> <h2>1. Reduce high interest rates and increase credit limits</h2> <p>There are a few ways you can deal with the interest rates and limits on your credit cards.</p> <ul> <li> <p>You can simply accept that they are what they are, and get on with life.</p> </li> <li> <p>You can whine and complain about them to your friends and family.</p> </li> <li> <p>Or you can be proactive, and get in touch with customer service.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Most of the time, reducing your interest rate or getting a credit line increase is as simple as asking for it. (Depending on your credit score, a credit line increase can be a bit harder to get and may hinge upon how much available credit you currently have.) Of course, how you ask is very important.</p> <p>If you plan on calling, be positive, polite, and prepared. If you do it by live chat, make sure you use plenty of appropriate emojis or phrases that ensure you come across as nice, not demanding. Tell the credit card company you have been a loyal customer, you were given a low-rate offer by another card, but would love to stay with them for a reduced rate (or increased line of credit). Usually, you'll be offered something to your benefit within the first few minutes. It's really that easy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>2. Bring in additional sources of income</h2> <p>There's an old saying that's applicable to many aspects of life, but it works particularly well for your finances: &quot;Whether you think you can, or your think you can't, you're right.&quot;</p> <p>Many years ago, I was convinced that the only way to make more money was to get a raise, a promotion, or move to a company with a higher paying job. I never even considered the possibility of making money from other lines of work, so no chances to make more money ever appeared. Then, I started talking to people who did. They told me to look for opportunities, be positive about new ventures, and really believe that I could make more money. And, just with that change in attitude, side-hustles started to happen. Freelance work, paying hobbies, buying and selling items on eBay, and so many other gigs fell into my lap. On their own, they were small. But together, they made me enough extra money to buy a bigger home for my growing family. Be open to the chances of making more, and you will. It works.</p> <h2>3. Get discounts on almost everything you buy</h2> <p>One of the ways to ensure you get bargains &mdash; and to never pay full price if you can avoid it &mdash; is to have a great attitude. You can demand a discount with an arrogance that stinks, and you probably won't get it. But with a smile, some genuine banter, and empathy, you can easily convince anyone to take some money off the items you're looking to purchase.</p> <p>Politely ask the store manager if they have expiring products you can buy at a discount. Ask for free shipping, or expedited shipping at no charge when you buy something online. There is always a chance to chat with customer service, and if you emit nothing but positive energy, you'll usually get a coupon code, a free item included, or some other financial freebie. Try it out. Don't be smarmy, but do go out of your way to be nice. The worst that can happen is that you'll pay what you were going to pay anyway.</p> <h2>4. Achieve your financial goals</h2> <p>Whatever your income, you should have financial goals. They could be simply reducing debt, saving for a vacation, investing, building your own business, or getting into real estate. The principles for success are the same, no matter the goal. And you need to set goals and maintain a healthy, positive attitude for this to work.</p> <p>Sometimes it can be daunting to go through all of your assets and liabilities, but it's important. When you have a clear picture of where you stand, spend some time thinking about where you want to be in one month, one year, and even five years. Plan these goals, and find ways to make them happen. Maybe that dream vacation needs you to sacrifice the morning Starbucks run, and fewer meals at restaurants. Or maybe you cut a few things out to pay down your student loan more quickly. If you simply deny yourself things to save money, it can be tough to maintain. But by working toward a goal, tracking your progress, and maintaining that determined, positive attitude, it becomes much easier.</p> <h2>5. Destroy envy-induced spending</h2> <p>A lot of us tend to focus on what we <em>don't </em>have. This is in part due to advertising and the culture of materialism. We see people on Facebook sharing photos of bigger homes, new cars, jewelry, and exotic vacations, and we think <em>I wish I had that.</em> That is immediately going to put you in a negative mindset, and it can be hard to escape from it. But if you have access to a safe home, clean water, nutritious food, and a life that does not involve the daily risk of death and disease, you're doing really well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <p>Wealth is relative. Success is relative. It simply requires a paradigm shift to a more positive view of the great things you really have, rather than some of the &quot;great&quot; things you want. And when it comes down to it, most of the material stuff is just that. We really get our happiness from family, friends, partners, and experiences. No one runs into the burning house to save the big TV; they go for the family photos. So, while it may sound hokey, get into the habit of writing down the things you're thankful for at the end of each day. Spend time reading through these lists at the end of each week, or month. You'll shift your thinking to appreciate the good, and while you can still want more, it doesn't make you unhappy that you don't have it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Problems%2520You%2520Can%2520Solve%2520With%2520a%2520Good%2520Attitude.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Problems%20You%20Can%20Solve%20With%20a%20Good%20Attitude"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money%20Problems%20You%20Can%20Solve%20With%20a%20Good%20Attitude.jpg" alt="5 Money Problems You Can Solve With a Good Attitude" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-surviving-and-thriving-through-tough-times-from-author-donna-freedman">6 Lessons on Surviving and Thriving Through Tough Times From Author Donna Freedman</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances">This Simple Journal May be the Fix for Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-countries-where-you-can-live-on-1000-a-month">4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-youre-financially-average-and-how-to-improve">5 Signs You&#039;re Financially Average — And How to Improve</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting finances good attitude happiness money problems money struggles saving money wealth Thu, 20 Jul 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1987559 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-515230158.jpg" alt="Woman learning why being a millionaire is overrated" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>All told, 10.4 million households in the U.S. have $1 million or more in investable assets, according to a 2017 study by investor research firm Spectrem Group. Sounds pretty nice, doesn't it?</p> <p>You may want to reconsider those feelings of envy. Does the money really make life any more enjoyable? As Bill Gates once said, &quot;A hamburger is still a hamburger, millions in your pocket or not.&quot; Read on for our roundup of reasons why you should feel perfectly content to live on Main Street.</p> <h2>1. Happiness can be bought &mdash; but most rich people aren't doing it right</h2> <p>Do you have enough money to eat, pay for health care, and make the rent? If so, you're off to a good start. Research shows that as long as <a href="https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/danielgilbert/files/if-money-doesnt-make-you-happy.nov-12-20101.pdf" target="_blank">your basic needs are met</a>, you've got as much of a shot at living a joyful life as anybody else.</p> <p>In fact, the relationship between money and happiness is surprisingly weak. A positive experience, such as working hard to attain a goal or falling in love, will make you happier than a new Porsche. Over time, the Porsche will rust, dent, and age. The car simply won't be as thrilling to drive as it was when you first bought it. But the memory of a first love or receiving a reward for your hard work won't as quickly deteriorate.</p> <p>Indeed, money can be used to have more of the positive experiences that make us happy. But research shows that people who are well-to-do don't often spend their money this way.</p> <h2>2. Small delights bring more joy than big, expensive ones</h2> <p>A series of small, frequent treats &mdash; a pedicure, a day at the beach, a box of chocolate-covered strawberries &mdash; is more fulfilling than a big, blowout, annual gift to yourself. In this way, even millionaires are limited by their funds. If a millionaire wants their fortune to last, they can't spend it all at once. And if the goal is happiness, money should be spent in a way that brings constant delight, even if those delights come in smaller packages.</p> <p>Remember: Eating an entire, 12-slice cake in one sitting is not 12 times more pleasurable than eating one slice at a time. Similarly, most <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/richard.thaler/research/pdf/Gambling%20with%20the%20House%20Money%20and%20Trying%20to%20Break%20Even%20The%20Effects%20of%20Prior%20Outcomes%20in%20Risky%20Choice.pdf" target="_blank">people who play the lottery</a> would prefer to win a $50 ticket and then another $75 ticket at a later date, rather than win a one-time lump sum of $125. So, even if you can afford to treat yourself to one big present, you'd be wiser &mdash; and happier &mdash; to gift yourself a series of small ones instead.</p> <h2>3. Anticipation promotes happiness</h2> <p>If you're rich enough to buy yourself every new gadget the moment it hits the market, you're robbing yourself of anticipation &mdash; that feeling of yearning and desire which delivers a more intense feeling of happiness when we finally attain the thing from which we've been deprived.</p> <p>The pleasure that arises from immediate consumption simply doesn't match the staying power of the happiness we feel when we get something we've been yearning for. Here's an example from researchers who study happiness: People often derive the most joy from talking about and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/travel/what-a-great-trip-and-im-not-even-there-yet.html?_r=0" target="_blank">looking forward to a vacation</a> than the actual experience of the vacation itself.</p> <h2>4. A fancy vacation might sound like bliss, but it can often bring problems</h2> <p>The Notorious B.I.G. said it best: Mo' money, mo' problems. Here's another way to think about it: People buy big ticket items expecting one thing, but often they get something else. Let's take a yacht, for example. Warm sun, deep ocean swims, navigating through foreign seas &mdash; what could be bad about owning a 200-foot yacht?</p> <p>Well, what about the huge, hidden price tags &mdash; such as the cost of storage and maintenance? What about mosquito bites, and stormy seas, and engine glitches, and that fear of sharks you never knew you had until you bought the darn thing?</p> <p>Consider how it might feel to have a yacht on which to sail around the world, but you can't find a willing companion to join you for the tour. Because, you know, some people have to work. But not you! You're rich and you've got a yacht &mdash; and now you have a whole new set of troubles to worry about. Happiness is in the details, but it's easy to get caught up in the illusion.</p> <h2>5. Rich people tend to spend more time working</h2> <p>Our happiness is largely determined by how we spend our time. As a person's income rises, they typically begin to devote more time to working, running errands, and shopping. These activities are known to drive stress and anxiety &mdash; not happiness.</p> <p>More than anything else, it's leisure time that breeds happiness. But, of course, it's a balance. If we're not working enough, we often find ourselves right back in the throes of stress and anxiety. &quot;Am I spending my time in a way that's worthwhile? What's the meaning of all this stuff?&quot; Striking a balance between work and play is important whether you're a millionaire or not.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-secrets-to-a-debt-free-holiday-season">8 Secrets to a Debt-Free Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances">Why Even Millionaires Aren&#039;t Happy About Their Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-cities-the-most-billionaires-call-home">The 5 Cities the Most Billionaires Call Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle enjoyment experiences happiness material things millionaires overrated rich shopping Spending Money stress wealthy Fri, 12 May 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1943632 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons It's Never Too Late for a Career Change http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-509227828.jpg" alt="Woman learning it&#039;s never too late for a career change" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life's too short to spend your workday being unhappy. If you're dreading going into the office, it's time to grab your career by the horns and switch things up. It's never too late &mdash; and here's why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>1. You shouldn't wake up every morning dreading the workday</h2> <p>I've been my own boss for the past nine years, ditching the nine-to-five grind shortly after moving to Manhattan in 2008. I didn't like working a thankless job every day while I made somebody else better off than myself. I chose a harder road &mdash; it's not easy paying your bills on time when you're responsible for your own income &mdash; but it's provided me a freedom that has facilitated an overall happiness in my life.</p> <h2>2. Your skills may be transferable (or you can learn new ones)</h2> <p>Many people are afraid they're not qualified for a career change, but unless you have a very specific job with specific qualifications, chances are your skills are transferable. But even if what you want to do requires a particular skill that you're lacking, you still may be able to find educational resources to help you learn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-a-major-career-switch-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make a Major Career Switch Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <h2>3. You're never too old to start something new</h2> <p>I might sound like one of those motivational posters here, but you're only limited to what you limit yourself to. Perhaps you're hesitant to apply for a certain job because you think you're too old. But it's important to ask yourself first &mdash; too old for what, for whom?</p> <p>You'll never know what the outcome of a situation will be unless you throw yourself into it. You have to apply to a job to know whether or not you're qualified. Every individual brings his or her unique perspective &mdash; and yours may be the one the company is looking for. Either way, it's worth a shot, and certainly better than sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself.</p> <h2>4. It doesn't matter how many years you've invested in your current company</h2> <p>I hate to break this to you, but, in all likelihood, your company will drop you like a bad habit when it no longer has any use for you. As such, you shouldn't feel obligated to stay with an organization just because you've been there forever and they've been good to you. That's great, and you should probably thank them for it, but that doesn't mean you owe them a lifetime of service (especially if you don't have a pension). If you feel like it's time to move on, it's time to move on. Eat the farewell cake, say your goodbyes, and press ahead.</p> <h2>5. You can probably accommodate a change of income</h2> <p>Most of us are looking for upward financial mobility when changing careers, but it's not the end of the world if the job that will make you happy pays a bit less. I'm not encouraging you to send yourself or your family into debt because of it, but if you have the option to downsize your life and reduce your monthly budget to accommodate your new, lower-paying career, by all means do it. Money isn't everything. If you can live just fine with less of it and still wake up with a smile on your face, you're doing something right.</p> <h2>6. Many companies also want to switch things up</h2> <p>The traditional workplace is undergoing massive changes to accommodate modern appetites for flexible hours, less commuting, working from home, and so on. Top candidates take roles at one company for a few years before being offered something more interesting and moving on. Companies no longer expect lifelong service in the way they used to, and these changing attitudes have paved the way for businesses in general to be more flexible in the way they attract talent.</p> <p>All of this means that now, more than ever, it's easier to take the plunge and try a new career.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate">5 Reasons a Big Paycheck Is Not Worth Staying in a Job You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-jobs-people-quit-the-most">The 4 Jobs People Quit the Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-nows-the-right-time-to-jumpstart-your-career">Why Now&#039;s the Right Time to Jumpstart Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income career changes happiness income jobs never too old quitting resigning skills working Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1934993 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Simple Ways to Spread Happiness http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-simple-ways-to-spread-happiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-simple-ways-to-spread-happiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_smile_87474029.jpg" alt="Woman finding simple ways to spread happiness" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on simple ways to spread happiness, free ways to learn self-defense skills, and cleaning mistakes you didn&rsquo;t realize you were making.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2016/11/03/spread-happiness-around-you/">15 Simple Ways to Spread Happiness and Kindness Around You</a> &mdash; The more you judge other people, the more you judge yourself. When you feel the urge to judge someone, replace it with a kind thought or action instead. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/how-to-find-free-self-defense-classes/">5 Free Ways to Learn Self-Defense Skills From Experts</a> &mdash; Start by reading about the basics so you have a better idea of which classes and courses might be a good fit for you. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cleaning-Mistakes-42128069#photo-42128069">6 Cleaning Mistakes You Didn't Realize You Were Making</a> &mdash; Keep lemon juice away from marble and limestone because the acid can dull these surfaces. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/bookkeeping-system-work/">Five things that make a bookkeeping system work</a> &mdash; There needs to be a way for you to check what the balances should be, whether it's calling your bank or printing out account statements. [Mighty Bargain Hunter]</p> <p><a href="http://shopperstrategy.com/2016/11/03/6-ways-to-save-money-on-your-monthly-cell-phone-bill/">6 Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Cell Phone Bill</a> &mdash; Streaming movies, making video calls, and playing certain video games can really drain your data. Avoid these activities if you don't have an unlimited data plan. [Shopper Strategy]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-to-start-a-business-bootstrapping-to-7-figures-and-early-retirement/">How To Start A Business: Bootstrapping To 7-Figures And Early Retirement</a> &mdash; You'll have the wear many hats in the first few years. It's crucial that you figure out what your priorities are so you don't waste time on non-essential tasks. [Financial Samurai]</p> <p><a href="http://creativemoney.biz/top-rookie-investing-mistakes/">Rookie Investing Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid</a> &mdash; It's never safe to assume that you'll get double-digit returns from your investments. [Creative Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.modestmoney.com/three-finance-tips-large-purchases-life/36226">Three Finance Tips for the Large Purchases in Your Life</a> &mdash; If you're on the road a lot, consider investing in a hybrid car to cut down on gas costs. [Modest Money]</p> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/18642/overspend-your-budget.html">6 Reasons You Overspend Your Budget</a> &mdash; It's easy to overspend when you mix up your wants and your needs. Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2016/11/fun-family-meals.html">8 Ways to Make Family Meal Times More Fun</a> &mdash; Shake things up by leaving the dining table for themed meals, like a picnic at the park or a backyard barbecue. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-simple-ways-to-spread-happiness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to be Happy About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-happiness-habits-7-ways-to-feel-better-now">The Happiness Habits: 7 Ways to Feel Better Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips happiness Fri, 04 Nov 2016 09:30:33 +0000 Amy Lu 1826529 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Small Habits That Steal Your Happiness http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-small-habits-that-steal-your-happiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-small-habits-that-steal-your-happiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sad_stressed_83655851.jpg" alt="Woman with small habits that steal her happiness" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on small habits that steal your happiness, tips for saving money on groceries, and ways to get cheap or free vet care for your pet.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2016/09/08/steal-your-happiness/">7 Small Habits That Will Steal Your Happiness</a> &mdash; Don't put your dreams on hold, waiting for the right time to take action. Even if you can't dive in right away, you can take small steps toward your goal. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.wallstreetsurvivor.com/2016/09/09/20-tips-that-will-help-you-save-money-on-groceries/">20 Tips That Will Help You Save Money On Groceries</a> &mdash; Go for versatile ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes to ensure that you actually use it before it goes bad. [Wall Street Survivor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/how-get-cheaper-free-vet-care/">9 Ways to Get Cheap or Free Vet Care for Your Pet</a> &mdash; Check out veterinary websites and social media accounts for deals offered by vets in your area. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/what-to-do-when-mice-have-invaded-your-home-1786347063">What to Do When Mice Have Invaded Your Home</a> &mdash; If you spot even one mouse, odds are there's a nest somewhere in your house. Follow these steps to get rid of the unwelcome rodents and keep them out. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-You-Should-Do-Your-30s-40165465">22 Things You Need to Start Doing For Yourself in Your 30s</a> &mdash; Make time for massages &mdash; your body will thank you! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0902/How-to-balance-between-investment-and-savings-accounts">How to balance between investment and savings accounts</a> &mdash; Investing your money can make it grow faster, but the money in savings is more accessible when an emergency hits. Learn how to balance both and optimize your money. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/25-small-ways-to-pay-it-forward-kindness-matters/">25 Small Ways to Pay It Forward &ndash; Kindness Matters!</a> &mdash; Buy extra toiletries when you spot a good deal and give them away to people in need. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.allstate.com/changing-your-own-oil-video/">6 Things to Know When Changing Your Own Oil for the First Time</a> &mdash; If you've never changed the oil in you car before, follow these tips to make sure you're doing it correctly. [The Allstate Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2016/09/09/how-to-deal-with-stress/">How to Deal With Stress and Remain Calm in Any Situation</a> &mdash; Talk through your problems with someone you trust. It's harder to find solutions when you keep your feelings pent up. [Life Optimizer]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-much-homework-is-too-much">How Much Homework Is Too Much?</a> &mdash; The workload your child brings home may be too much if it starts affecting their sleep or mood, [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-small-habits-that-steal-your-happiness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-things-people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do">12 More Things People Who Make a Lot of Money Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips habits happiness Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1789671 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons You Are More Than Your Credit Score http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/post_it_smiley_88426573.jpg" alt="Learning reasons you&#039;re more than your credit score" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you read Wise Bread frequently, you'll know that we place a lot of emphasis on obtaining a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-good-credit-score-range" target="_blank">good credit score</a> and building net worth. There's no question that we want people to follow a path that takes them to financial security. But it's important to understand that while money and good credit can help you lead the life you want, it doesn't define you as a person or even guarantee happiness.</p> <p>It's often the case that we get so wrapped up in making and saving money that we lose sight of how little we need to actually be content. And we beat ourselves up for being poor, having bad credit, or being in debt.</p> <p>Here's a look at all of the ways your net worth and credit score don't define you.</p> <h2>1. You're Investing in Your Future</h2> <p>You may have some debt and a low net worth right now. But that's because you're taking steps to improve your situation. Maybe you're in college and have taken out some loans to pay for it. Perhaps you took out a loan to start your own company. Maybe you took on some debt to move to a new community so you could accept a good job. You are making steps to build a good life for yourself, and they will pay off in the long run. Don't worry about what the numbers say about you now.</p> <h2>2. You're Frugal, and Proud of It</h2> <p>You've decided against using credit cards because you want to avoid the possibility of high-interest debt. You've chosen to live with your parents for a while to save money on rent. You've never even asked for a loan. All of these things may mean you have a low credit score because you haven't established much of a credit history. But don't fret. You're still being financially sensible and taking steps to save money and avoid the debt spiral. A credit bureau may give you a low score, but you're getting top marks for being smart with your money.</p> <h2>3. You're Rich in Other Ways</h2> <p>You have many great friends. You have your family. Your faith. Good health. You're pretty good at playing the guitar and you make very tasty French toast. These are the things that define you and make your life what it is. Your credit score doesn't know you, and neither does your bank account.</p> <h2>4. You Are Happy</h2> <p>We're all aware of the adage that money can't buy happiness. And have you ever met anyone who said, &quot;I'm so content with my life because my credit score is 820?&quot; Your happiness is based on how you live your life, the quality of your relationships, and what you do to find fulfillment. We've all met wealthy people who are downright miserable, and poor people who live life with a smile on their face.</p> <h2>5. Numbers Are Relative</h2> <p>So maybe your credit score is considered poor. And maybe your net worth places you close to the poverty line. But are you better off than you were six months ago? Or a year ago? If so, then be happy that you're making progress. Credit scores and net worth are only numbers, and numbers should not be analyzed in a vacuum. A person who emerged from extreme poverty is going to be happy to have any credit score at all. Someone who spent years working to pay off massive debts will be thrilled to have positive net worth after being in negative territory for years.</p> <h2>6. You're Fine With Living Small</h2> <p>You can be content living in a modest home with few possessions. In fact, the Tiny House Movement underscores that there is a segment of the population that is eager to reduce its overall living footprint due to lower costs, lower impact on the environment, and a basic lifestyle. If you're happy downsizing and living simply, then don't worry about what your credit score and net worth say.</p> <h2>7. No One Else Cares</h2> <p>Think of your closest friends. How often do you ask about their credit score or their net worth? Do you judge them based on the balances in their bank accounts or their stock holdings? One would hope not. Likewise, your closest friends and relatives couldn't care less what your numbers say about you. Your relationships are based not on credit scores, but real bonds that have nothing to do with money.</p> <p><em>How do you value yourself?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-credit-score">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage">Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle credit score debt happiness Living net worth relationships reminder struggling Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1765529 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Shopping Reminders That Will Save You Big http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smiling_shopping_96557647.jpg" alt="Woman becoming smartest shopper ever" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're tempted to splurge on something you don't need, what's your decision-making process? Do you let emotion determine whether you head to the check-out counter, or do you rationally consider the financial pros and cons? Do you even have a strategy? If the answer is no, don't panic. Lucky for you we've compiled a comprehensive list of questions to ask before pulling the trigger on any splurge-y&nbsp;purchase. Read on and smarten up!</p> <h2>1. Shopping Can Be More Satisfying Than the Purchase Itself</h2> <p>Buyer's remorse is the slyest devil of them all. At first you're beaming about your new pair of designer jeans. But will you feel the same way a month out when the high of the buy wears off? Research shows that the flood of happiness we feel when we make a purchase peaks at the check-out counter and then slowly starts to dwindle. Indeed, it's the experience of shopping that satisfies us &mdash; not the purchase itself.</p> <p>&quot;Thinking about acquisition provides <a href="http://jcr.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/1/1">momentary happiness boosts</a> to materialistic people, and because they tend to think about acquisition a lot, such thoughts have the potential to provide frequent mood boosts,&quot; said Marsha L. Richins, author of the research paper, <em>When Wanting Is Better Than Having</em>. &quot;But the positive emotions associated with acquisition are short-lived. Although materialists still experience positive emotions after making a purchase, these emotions are less intense than before they actually acquire a product.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Shopping to Cure Sadness Only Makes Us Sadder</h2> <p>Retail therapy is a term used so flippantly that it can be difficult to take seriously. Yet studies show that when we're feeling sad or grieving, we tend to compensate with compulsive shopping. As it turns out, shopping can seem to fill an emotional void while really only serving to dig it deeper. In truth, shopping to curb that feeling of loneliness actually <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/100962304">makes us feel lonelier</a>. Take this sage advice: If you're going through a breakup, battling depression, grieving the death of a loved one, or otherwise feeling alone and blue, take a pause from recreational shopping until you've addressed your emotional state.</p> <h2>3. Just Because It's a Good Deal Doesn't Mean It's a Good Deal for You</h2> <p>The price tag on that gorgeous wicker chair very well may be a steal &mdash; but is it truly a good deal for <em>you</em>? For instance, maybe you already have a perfectly fine chair in the living room, and this one, though newer and nicer, would nonetheless qualify as an unnecessary purchase. If you weren't planning on buying a wicker chair until the good deal came along, then you're running the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master" target="_blank">risk of throwing your money away</a> on something you simply don't need. And that's not a good deal at all.</p> <h2>4. Don't Buy It If You Can't Afford It</h2> <p>It's simple advice. It's also crucial. If you can't afford to take the financial hit, put away that wallet. And if it's a stretch but you think you can swing it, take a moment to consider all the possible future unknowns. If you lose your job, or your spouse does, or some other unforeseen circumstance dramatically shifts your financial situation, will you look back on this purchase with regret?</p> <h2>5. Don't Buy It if It Will Derail Your Financial Goals</h2> <p>Maybe you're saving for college. Or a down payment on a new car. How will this purchase influence the savings goals that you've set for yourself? If buying that new sofa is going to derail your plans to save up enough money for a down payment on the house where you want to put the sofa, consider pumping the breaks. Take it one financial goal at a time. And remember: Your financial habits today determine your future financial health.</p> <h2>6. Consider the Hidden Costs</h2> <p>As with boats, in-ground pools, and motorcycles, there are purchases that require future funding not specified on the price tag. Boats, for example, need fuel, winter storage, and almost constant maintenance. And you can't operate a backyard swimming oasis without investing in at least the basic accessories, such as a pool cover and cleaning tools and treatments. Whatever the purchase you're considering, does it have any financial strings attached &mdash; and if so, can you afford them?</p> <p><em>What do you quietly tell yourself to help you curb the urge to spend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores">Here&#039;s How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-excuses-we-need-to-stop-making-about-overspending">5 Excuses We Need to Stop Making About Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping">Retail Therapy: The Benefits of Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-creative-shopping-strategy-could-save-you-tons">This Creative Shopping Strategy Could Save You Tons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying emotional spending happiness materialism reminders retail therapy saving money smart buys Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1757848 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 51 Easy Ways to Live a Happier Life http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_car_86320095.jpg" alt="Woman finding easy ways to live a happier life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is too short to be anything but happy. Sure, we'll all face our own emotional ups and downs, but we should never settle for an extended period of misery if we can help it. Luckily, it doesn't take much to improve one's mood. And since ultimately, happiness is a choice, let's all choose an existence filled with joy, yes?</p> <p>Here are 51 simple ways to start living a happier life.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/happy_woman_smiling_000057527868.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness?ref=fbf">9 Ways Money Does Buy Happiness</a> &mdash; Contrary to popular belief, you <em>can</em> actually buy happiness. And you don't need to be rich in order to attain that level of happiness. Just be sure to make those happiness purchases smart and responsible, or you'll slip into the dreaded buyer's remorse.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today?ref=fbf">11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today</a> &mdash; Who knew taking a nap, or simply going outside could instantly make a person happy? Then again, it is the little things that make the biggest impact. Thank goodness for science, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/chocolate-Dollarphotoclub_63094547.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness?ref=fbf">7 Foods That Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a> &mdash; It's true! You can eat your way to happiness, apparently. Stick with healthy proteins, brightly colored veggies, and chocolate, and you'll be grinning like a goof in no time.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-happiness-habits-7-ways-to-feel-better-now?ref=fbf">The Happiness Habits: 7 Ways to Feel Better Now</a> &mdash; Sometimes, all you need to be happier is a little movement and organization. Making to-do lists and exercising are excellent ways to reclaim your mood and set yourself up for a brighter future.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/happy_woman_smiling_000016994073.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy?ref=fbf">10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy</a> &mdash; Don't let those blues drag you down. These are simple ways to turn that frown upside down, and they're also all free!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness?ref=fbf">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a> &mdash; Any exercise can cheer you up, but yoga, dancing, and hiking are just a few that are scientifically proven to do the trick. So get moving!</p> <p><em>What other simple ways can you boost your mood? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-55-brilliant-ways-to-turn-your-junk-into-cash">Flashback Friday: 55 Brilliant Ways to Turn Your Junk Into Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks fbf flashback friday happiness happiness hacks happy happy life how to be happy life hacks science stress relief Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1752365 at http://www.wisebread.com Can Saying Thanks More Make You Rich? http://www.wisebread.com/can-saying-thanks-more-make-you-rich <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-saying-thanks-more-make-you-rich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thank_you_note_000058962422.jpg" alt="Learning how saying thanks can make you rich" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're even a little bit cynical, you might be expecting a resounding, one-word answer to this question. I mean, since when did being nice ever get you rich?</p> <p>But there is good news out there for those of us who still like to see the nice guy win once in-awhile. In fact, gratitude has a number of direct impacts on financial well being.</p> <h2>Gratitude Makes You Happy</h2> <p>Gratitude has been shown to <a href="https://www.uthealthleader.org/story/grateful-ology">make people happier</a> &mdash; and happiness is known to have a positive impact on earnings.</p> <p>In research, groups were asked to keep journals over an extended period, either simply writing down neutrally what had happened to them, or trying to find the positives to be grateful for. At the end of the study, the gratitude group were 25% happier than the neutral group, and reported fewer physical illnesses over the period.</p> <p>A different study links <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness" target="_blank">happiness and earnings</a>, with research which shows that adolescents who report higher levels of happiness go on to <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/109/49/19953.abstract">earn more as adults</a>. There are probably a wide range of reasons for this &mdash; happier people take fewer sick days, build more positive relationships, and are able to focus more on the things that matter to them.</p> <h2>Gratitude Stops Spending</h2> <p>If excessive consumption is your downfall, then try practicing a little gratitude to get back on track.</p> <p>Instead of lusting after another gadget or handbag, make a conscious effort to appreciate what you have &mdash; not only will you rediscover old pleasures, it will most likely slow your urge to spend.</p> <p>Often the desire to shop comes about because of something known as <em>hedonic adaptation</em>, or the hedonic treadmill. This is the tendency humans have to slip back to an average level of satisfaction very shortly after large improvements or positive life events. So even though you get a massive pay raise, the enjoyment is short-lived, and you soon come to expect the extra salary. Similarly, the new phone you were yearning for is only truly impressive for a few weeks before you forget the novelty and start to think about your next purchase.</p> <p>Gratitude can help overcome this tendency because it slows down the pace at which we get complacent about what we have &mdash; and by cutting out the excesses of spending, our financial wellness gets an immediate boost.</p> <h2>Gratitude Promotes Great Relationships</h2> <p>Relationships flourish with gratitude, and relationships are how business happens. So exercising a bit of gratitude can be a boon to your personal and professional relationships alike, making you happier and wealthier at the same time.</p> <p>This dynamic in professional environments has already received much scientific and psychological attention. Studies dating back decades have shown that customers come back and tip more if they are thanked for their generosity. In one wonderful example (which I really wish I had come up with myself), restaurant servers handed over the check to diners &mdash; either blank, or with a handwritten note saying thank you, including a smiley face. This research showed that those who had written &quot;thank you&quot; on their checks <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb01847.x/abstract">received higher tips</a>.</p> <p>Because gratitude forges an immediate personal connection, it's a great way of opening the door to a developing relationship. In a work environment, that might be as simple as getting an extra few dollars tip, or it could be the start of something beautiful. You never know.</p> <h2>Gratitude Keeps You Healthy</h2> <p>Science shows you can cut down your medical bills by saying thanks. Seriously.</p> <p>Don't take my word for it. Professor Robert A. Emmons is the author of a report on the <a href="http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/2015-2016/11/20151125_gratitude.html">impact of gratitude on health</a>. He says gratitude &quot;can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide.&quot;</p> <p>Not only all that, but those who are grateful also report having a stronger social network that can support them when they need help, as well as improving blood pressure, cholesterol and heart health.</p> <p>Gratitude's impact on financial wellness is based on elements of scientific and psychological fact. It may sound far fetched at first, but saying thank you to others, and remembering to be grateful for what you have &mdash; rather than yearning for more &mdash; could really be the secret to unlocking greater emotional and financial well being.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Crazy theories or common sense? How do you practice gratitude in everyday life?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-saying-thanks-more-make-you-rich">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-youre-financially-average-and-how-to-improve">5 Signs You&#039;re Financially Average — And How to Improve</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-credit-score">7 Reasons You Are More Than Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate">5 Reasons a Big Paycheck Is Not Worth Staying in a Job You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances">Why Even Millionaires Aren&#039;t Happy About Their Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance appreciation gratitude happiness healthy higher salary mindset relationships spending habits Thu, 26 May 2016 09:30:18 +0000 Claire Millard 1717156 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways Money Does Buy Happiness http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_smiling_000057527868.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways money does buy happiness" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whenever someone tells me that money can't buy happiness, I am often tempted to insist they give me all of their money as a way to test this theory. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness?ref=seealso">6 Ways Money Really Can Buy Happiness</a>)</p> <p>Research abounds on the &quot;Can money buy happiness?&quot; question, and there is evidence on both sides. It seems that true happiness can come from deep personal connections and life experiences rather than material goods. But there's also information showing that people on the lowest end of the income scale are vulnerable to depression and other mental health problems.</p> <p>Here's a look at some of the research indicating that money does indeed play a role in making people happier.</p> <h2>1. You're Less Likely to Suffer From Depression</h2> <p>A 2012 report from Gallup revealed that people in poverty are more likely to suffer from health problems, with depression being the most common. About 30.9% of poor people said they have been <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/158417/poverty-comes-depression-illness.aspx">diagnosed with depression</a> at some point, compared to about 15.8% (half as many!) for those not in poverty.</p> <h2>2. Your Kids Brains Will Develop Better</h2> <p>PBS reported in June on the growing body of evidence supporting the idea that growing up in poverty can have a long-term impact on children's cognitive development. In the most extreme cases, children endure &quot;toxic stress&quot; that is shown to actually chemically alter their brains.</p> <h2>3. You Can Afford an Education</h2> <p>A 2012 study by Pew and the University of Virginia found a connection between happiness and obtaining a college degree. A broad education, researchers concluded, can lead to a richer and more fulfilling life, as well as greater earning opportunities.</p> <h2>4. You'll Avoid Student Loans</h2> <p>There's been a lot written about the impact of student loans on young people, and there's evidence that the crushing debt can actually be detrimental to happiness. An article published in the journal Social Science and Medicine concluded that student loan debt was related to &quot;poorer psychological functioning&quot; among young adults.</p> <h2>5. You Can Mentally Savor Life</h2> <p>When you have money, you don't need to focus as much attention on acquiring it in order to meet your basic needs. This frees up your mind to actually savor the experiences of life, according to a 2010 article in Scientific American. The article concluded that &quot;...a person's ability to savor experiences predicts their degree of happiness.&quot;</p> <h2>6. You're &quot;Buffered&quot; From Sadness</h2> <p>A recent paper in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science concluded that there may not be a direct connection between money and happiness, <em>per se</em>. But, the authors said there was strong evidence that money prevented sadness. The study concluded that people with money can more easily &quot;buffer&quot; themselves against stressful events.</p> <h2>7. You'll Be Free to Spend Money on Others</h2> <p>When you barely have enough to support yourself, you're likely not thinking about giving back to others. But being generous with your money is a path to happiness, according to a Harvard study titled &quot;Using Money to Benefit Others Pays Off.&quot; In the study, researchers gave money to students to spend on either themselves or others by the end of the day. &quot;People who had been assigned to spend the money on someone else reported feeling [a] happier mood over the course of the day than those assigned to spend the money on themselves,&quot; the authors wrote.</p> <h2>8. You Can Spend Money on Experiences</h2> <p>There's considerable evidence that buying &quot;stuff&quot; doesn't make anyone any happier. But paying for <em>experiences</em> offers a good bang for your buck when it comes to happiness, according to the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400077427/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1400077427&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=THZH4OREGTORUHA6">Stumbling on Happiness</a>. Whether it's swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa or hang gliding over a volcano in Hawaii, experiences do cost money.</p> <h2>9. You're Less Likely to Be Lonely</h2> <p>A 2011 study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology concluded that people with meaningful social connections are generally happiest. And there is other evidence showing that people with less money are more likely to be lonely. The Guardian reported in 2014 that &quot;Poor social networks should be included as a contributor to and signal of poverty.&quot;</p> <p><em>Does money make you happier?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated">5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-things-that-money-just-cant-buy">The things that money just can&#039;t buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">6 Ways Money Really Can Buy Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt">Can you talk to your friends about debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle education experiences happiness money poverty student loans Fri, 18 Dec 2015 10:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1621571 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_smiling_000016994073.jpg" alt="Woman learning things to make her happy today" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's be honest: when it comes to negative thinking, most of us need to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. Whether it's traffic on the freeway or the weight we've gained in our arms, we are seasoned vets at focusing our attention on all the things that we wish were somehow better or different.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/love/Feminist-Halloween-Costumes-35742821#photo-35742821" target="_blank">30+ Fierce Halloween Costumes That Empower Women</a></p> <p>As a life coach and an inspirational speaker, I am constantly being asked for quick-fix tips for inducing happiness and reducing stress. My answer is always the same: if we want to be happy, we have to learn how to turn the volume down on our negativity and shift our awareness to the parts of our lives that are working, to thoughts and ideas that make us feel inspired and uplifted.</p> <p>The reason for this is that, unbeknownst to many, negative thinking is the number one cause of unhappiness in humans. That's right. It's not your lack of sleep or your cranky boss that is bringing you down, it's your thoughts about these things that cause you to be less than your naturally exuberant self.</p> <p>An incredible method for shifting away from the negative and into the positive is an exercise that I call &quot;The Flip Switch.&quot; The Flip Switch is a great tool for instant happiness, as well as for kick-starting our brains into the habit of focusing only on the thoughts that make us feel empowered and optimistic. If it is practiced regularly, The Flip Switch will benefit us emotionally, mentally, and also biologically (think endorphins, new neural pathways, and extra serotonin, oh my!) in our quest for happiness.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Free-Halloween-Costumes-35472600#photo-35472600" target="_blank">44 Practically Free Halloween Costumes to DIY</a></p> <h2>Application of the Flip Switch</h2> <p>When you find yourself drowning in a downward spiral of negative thoughts &mdash; or even just treading water in them! &mdash; this list is your life preserver. To stop negativity in its tracks, shift your attention onto one of the activities on the list below for a few minutes (or as long as you feel is necessary) when you first notice negative self-talk start to come up.</p> <h3>1. Listen to Music That You Love</h3> <p>Music is an extremely powerful tool for shifting your mood and mindset. Just make sure to choose music that energizes and elates you.</p> <h3>2. Call Someone Who Understands and Supports You</h3> <p>Hearing the voice of someone we love or a friend who gives great advice is always an instant pick-me-up.</p> <h3>3. Get Into Nature</h3> <p>My personal favorite. There is nothing that calms and soothes me more than watching a sunset or being on the beach by my house.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-My-Resume-Better-38831500" target="_blank">6 Ways to Revamp Your Résumé</a></p> <h3>4. Meditate</h3> <p>This is a great go-to when you find yourself already pretty deep in the downward spiral. When we are stuck in negative thought patterns, the first physical shift that occurs is that we stop breathing. Shifting our focus onto our breath causes our minds to slow down and brings immediate relief.</p> <h3>5. Laugh</h3> <p>Laughter is hands down the best remedy for releasing tension. Watch a silly movie or a YouTube video, or remember a joke that never gets old.</p> <h3>6. Exercise/Get in Your Body</h3> <p>When we are moving and being active, we shake up energy and shift our focus away from our mind and into our physicality. Even if this means running in place for 30 seconds or doing a silly dance in your office bathroom, I promise you will feel a difference.</p> <h3>7. Appreciate What Is Around You</h3> <p>Look around your environment and make a conscious effort to list and appreciate everything in your field of vision that you like. Maybe it's the way the man on the subway is holding his baby, or maybe it's the photo of your parents that you keep on your desk. Negative thoughts cannot enter our minds when we are in a state of appreciation, so appreciate, appreciate, appreciate!</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Use-Up-Leftover-Halloween-Candy-25696231#photo-25696231" target="_blank">9 Ways to Use Up Leftover Halloween Candy</a></p> <h3>8. Make a Gratitude List</h3> <p>When you feel the onset of negativity, quickly turn your thoughts to everything in your life that you are grateful for. This high-vibe tactic diffuses the negativity and is like a reset button for your brain. I have a list I carry in my wallet of all the things I'm happy about &mdash; it's my secret weapon that I pull out and look at when I start to feel down.</p> <h3>9. Do an Act of Kindness</h3> <p>Studies have shown that giving to others elevates levels of dopamine in the brain and instantly boots feel-good brainwaves.</p> <h3>10. Create Your Own!&nbsp;</h3> <p>You know yourself better than anyone. If the items on this list don't particularly invigorate you, just think of the things that make you smile and do that! Eat your favorite food, look at a photograph that reminds you of an awesome vacation... anything that feels good is fair game.</p> <p>Some items on the list may work better for you than others, so choose the activities that excite you most. You will know when you have successfully &quot;flipped the switch&quot; because you will a) feel better and b) feel much more neutral about the triggering issue that set off the negative thoughts in the first place.</p> <p>Cheers to your newfound state of bliss, and happy Flipping!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Feeling good about yourself and others is not out of reach. Drop the negativity and start taking steps to feeling happy today. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/love/Feminist-Halloween-Costumes-35742821#photo-35742821">30+ Fierce Halloween Costumes That Empower Women</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Free-Halloween-Costumes-35472600#photo-35472600">44 Practically Free Halloween Costumes to DIY</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-My-Resume-Better-38831500">6 Ways to Revamp Your Résumé</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Use-Up-Leftover-Halloween-Candy-25696231#photo-25696231">9 Ways to Use Up Leftover Halloween Candy</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-lessons-every-20-something-should-learn">22 Lessons Every 20-Something Should Learn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-the-lottery-without-paying-a-penny-for-the-ticket">How to Win the Lottery Without Paying a Penny for the Ticket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/review-bluebird-women-and-the-new-psychology-of-happiness">Review: Bluebird -- Women and the New Psychology of Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quarterlife-crisis-what-is-it">Quarterlife Crisis! What is It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle Personal Development happiness health tips how to be happy lifestyle changes Fri, 30 Oct 2015 11:15:21 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1602654 at http://www.wisebread.com