“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.” – Benjamin Franklin
Many of us look at financial planning as working towards a big event in the future that will make us happy. But the reality is that if we don’t find happiness in our everyday lives, we won’t find happiness in those big future events.
According to a Harvard study, instead of focusing on the present we spend almost half of our time thinking of the past and future, which negatively affects our happiness.
We have seen how shifting our focus from the goal to the journey changes our mindset and makes it easier to take action in the present – as opposed to delaying this due to the uncertainty of a bigger, ‘impossible to attain’, future goal.
In addition, it is evident that planning helps us achieve happiness and that the key to this lies in recognising the value of daily life details.
An article published in DailyFinance.com, which discusses the different emotional traps leading to misery, names the number one trap as, ‘uncertainty’. Uncertainty results in a feeling of depression, helplessness and stress, which directly contradicts the control required to reach financial happiness.
Here’s where the importance of strengthening your financial security comes in and where WellsFaber can help you to deal with your uncertainty and gain control of financial happiness.
Daniel Gilbert’s book, Stumbling on Happiness, is also based on the premise that feelings of control can have a positive impact on one’s health and well-being. We want to control our future because it feels good to do so and the converse also holds true.
So how can we bring this into our everyday lives?
It is widely debated whether money buys happiness or stress. Dunn and Norton, authors of Happy Money, say if you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right. They claim that people more often seek professional advice on how to earn, save, and invest their money, than on how to spend it, and that bad decisions in spending often result. The advice offered is to choose to buy experiences (over objects) and to spend on others (only if you are able to do so – as this can increase happiness).
They go on to suggest that people who buy objects (over experiences) may feel happy at first, but that these objects are likely to be accompanied by debt and end up being burdens instead of status symbols, resulting in stress rather than happiness in the end. So focus on experiences that bring happy memories to your daily life instead – a great mindset for financial planning!
We help you shift your mindset if necessary – to use money as a tool for both your daily and long term happiness. And as the future can never be certain, we plan with the worst case scenario in mind. If it does then transpire you will be fine. If not, you will certainly be happy!