Here are links to several of my favorite recent articles on personal finance and life. One of my favorite topics is money and happiness and all of these articles touch on that theme in an interesting way. Enjoy:
If You Had to Choose by Taylor Milam at The Freedom From Money
My 19 year old daughter is just beginning to write her financial story. Thankfully she values my opinion and often comes to me for advice. Usually she asks if I think she should buy or save for x or y? She is learning quickly that wants are endless and money finite. I keep reminding her that life is full of these kinds of choices and ultimately they are hers to make. If we work hard at it we can probably figure out a way to get some of what we want, but we can never satisfy all our desires. Managing money is all about choices and trade-offs and happiness depends on coming to grips with this reality. This article does a great job of exploring that reality and offers a framework to use as we make these important decisions.
Do You Live Your Life Like a Financial Hermit? by Mrs. Groovy at Freedom is Groovy
Successful money management requires you to “place a substantial premium on the future.” This article reminds us that setting that premium too high can turn you into a financial hermit today. Happiness requires a delicate balance between enjoying today and creating a better tomorrow and Mrs. Groovy offers some useful advice, and a fascinating story, to help us as we strive to find that balance.
How Understanding the Marginal Utility of Money Will Make You Happier by The Happy Philosopher
“Ultimately…we are trading a commodity which is becoming more valuable (time) for a commodity which is becoming less valuable (money). As the end nears, time is all that matters, money has zero value.”
In addition to money and happiness, I also enjoy learning about the relationship between money and time. This article offers great insight on both topics. It will definitely make you think.
Happiness Revisited: A Household Income of $75K? by Doug Short at Advisor Perspectives
There was a famous study several years ago showing evidence that income above $75,000 per year does not buy greater happiness. Of course $75,000 in a low cost-of-living state goes a lot further than $75,000 in a high cost-of-living state. This article calculates the cost of happiness in each state. In my home state of Utah happiness only costs $69,500. What is the cost of happiness in your state?
The First (and Last) Step to Financial Satisfaction? Defining ‘Enough’ by Carl “Sketch Guy” Richards
In this article Richards quotes a friend: “If I wanted to work more, I could double my income in probably 18 months. But I don’t want to. My wife and I have this conversation all the time. If we’re not happy with our current income, 20 percent or 50 percent [more] is not going to make us more happy. Why? Because this income is enough. So, happiness is no longer about money. It’s about other things.”
How much extra would you work to double your income? When would trading more time for more money not be worth it to you? What is enough? If you want to be happy these are all important questions to think and talk about and, as usual, Richards does a great job of starting the conversation.