Last week, I created the article called: How Money Can Improve Your Life and Make You Happier. After writing it I thought, I bet other pf (personal finance) bloggers may have ideas that I didn’t think of or perhaps never would.
So the following is a listing of those blogger’s comments and the creative ideas that they came up with that increasing the amount of money you make can make them happier.
If I had more money… I can:
(1) treat my parents out to vacations more often, upgrade them to business class, send them to really nice hotels. This would DEFINITELY make me feel like a better daughter.
(2) buy a house more quickly, have a lower monthly payment because my down payment would be bigger => lower stress!
(3) hire a night nurse if we were to have a kid, thereby guaranteeing I can get more restful sleep (your quality of sleep affects everything – so I bet your bottom dollar this would increase my happiness by 100x)
(4) help out other family members to achieve their goals. Again makes me feel like a more involved part of the family.
(5) Travel, travel, travel. Weekend getaways to bed & breakfasts, grand safaris in Botswana, culinary tour in France and Italy… I can go on. These experiences will certainly put a smile on my face.
Comments on Well Heeled: Obviously a very sweet and caring person. I especially like the “night nurse” idea, very original and spot on!
1) Invest in my own business and provide new product offerings and features for users and clients.
2) Send my parents on a 30 day cruise every year that they want to travel. They love cruising!
3) Not feel guilty buying a car worth more than $30,0000, since I know it’s a waste of money.
4) Go on a two-week vacation around all four major tennis opens with tennis buddies!
5) Establish a sizable Yakezie Scholarship Fund for people who need help with furthering their education.
I’m not sure what else I’d use the extra money for. I feel I truly have everything I need and want, and don’t have desires for much more.
Comments on Financial Samurai: I like the idea of expanding business and new products! This is the way people make the world a better place for all of us!
As we’ve started making more money, we’ve been using it mainly to pay off our home. Since that day is less than 3 months away, we have been giving major thought to what to use our extra income for after that. Here is what we’ve come up with so far:
1) More investment income (we also invest in dividend stocks)
2) More cash savings. I’d like to start saving our current mortgage payment every month in cash so we can pay for our next house in cash instead of needing any loans again. We have been doing that for our cars since 2010. Plus, that cash is like an extra emergency fund until we decide to use it.
3) More fun money. We will be using some of the monthly extra to fund more vacations and our personal fun money accounts.
I use some of my own fun money for random acts of kindness like paying for the groceries that someone in front of me would have needed to leave behind otherwise (happens more often than it should). My husband uses some of his money to fund charities of his choice.
Overall, our happiness level seems to be more dependent on how our personal relationships with friends are going than it is based on money. But I like padding and it does help me worry less.
Comments on Crystal’s BIFS: Crystal is unique in that she is actually going though the topic of this post currently! She has had a huge increase in income, and after reading her comment, apparently doing the right things! I especially like the “random acts of kindness“! She has done such acts all along, but now the monetary cap has raised for her quite a bit, giving her a much great range to help people!
If I had extra money, I would:
1. Buy my mom a new car.
2. Give money to people who I feel really deserve it. For example, I would cover my physical therapist’s student loan payment for a month because he is awesome and I would love to help him.
3. Give something meaningful to those that are working so hard but seem to have trouble getting ahead. (New tools to a carpenter, that kind of thing.)
4. I would travel at will. For instance, I am so sick of winter that I would just drive to the airport and hop on a plane on a whim.
5. Hire a housekeeper.
I am sure there are more, but that is off the top of my head. I may have a post brewing for myself…
Comments on Everyday Tips: I like the idea of “giving tools to help people help themselves“. Very clever!
1) I would definitely do an around the world trip in style. We love traveling, but we usually do so frugally. It would be pretty awesome to travel in the lap of luxury for once.
2) Health insurance is a big worry for me. I’m not sure what I can do with money here. Maybe set up a heath care fund for my extended family.
3) I like where we live, but would like a bit more space. If money is no object, then I’d probably move up the penthouse.
Comments on Joe @ Retire By 40: An upgrade to a better location with a bit more space would be nice, especially in the current real estate market!
1 – buy a second car (for those cold walks to the train and when the number one car is broken down)
2 – pay someone to do my dishes (i hate them with a passion, it also doesn’t help that I don’t have a dishwasher
3 – buy my own house (i hate renting…) with a non-coin operated washer/dryer. haha
4- travel more often
Comments on 20’s Finances: Paying someone to do the dishes would be great! For a 20’s person, buying a house makes perfect sense as a way to get more happiness. Non-coin operated washer/dryer been there and hated that, instant increase in happiness!
Having financial independence brings peace. The 3 things I’d do to help make a happier life:
1) For me, my time is more valuable than money. I can create/earn more money but time is finite.
Building wealth will allow me to “retire early.” Retirement for me doesn’t mean that I stop working, it simply means that I no longer have to work for the sole purpose of a paycheck. This will allow me to have time to can serve, volunteer, start businesses, and do whatever I wish.
2) It’s no secret that Americans LOVE STUFF, and I’m no different. If I had some extra money I’d take a 3 week trip to the Fijian Islands and stay in a 5-star resort.
I’ve looked into this and it costs about $1500-2000/day. But I’d have my own beach front and nothing but peace and quite. Sounds like my kind of fun!
3) I’d give more and help as many other people as I could.
Having extra money and wealth will enable you to give like no one else. Giving, for me, brings a great deal of happiness to my life, and there isn’t much more I’d love to do than to help those in need.
4) Being financially independent also allows for you to live a stress-free life (relatively). Finances are the #1 cause of stress in this country, the #1 cause for divorce, and the #1 or #2 cause for male suicide.
Financial independence gives you the freedom to no longer have to carry the burden of debt and bills. If the market tanks, it won’t matter much.
If America is going to go bankrupt…then I could just move to another country.
Money isn’t the source of all happiness, but it does allow for you to buy stuff, enjoy memorable moments/trips with your family, and allows for a life not filled with the constant worry that so many of us deal with day-to-day.
Give most of it away. Might not work for others, but works better than anything else for us. We have a charitable trust fund that we are setting money aside every year with a specific goal. We would accelerate that.
I would also establish a scholarship fund, not for studies but for entrepreneurship and innovation.
We will also make sure our parents retirement is funded for. They sacrificed a lot to bring us, we want to make sure they have a comfortable retirement.
Everyone touched on the charity bit, so I won’t elaborate there (but that’s some of what I’ve done with more money..doing special events for my kid’s school).
Since paying off our mortgages, we’ve had extra money piling up and we’ve just been sitting on it. After a bunch of soul-searching, we are launching operation “live with Babci someday in a better school district.” I’ve always been kind of against the McMansion concept, but having more space does offer us some flexibility in case of emergency that our home does not.
One house we are looking at has it’s own pond on 10 acres. The house is a mess but the land is awesome. The childhood experience of living on an ideal bit of property with a pond that you can ice skate on in the winter and catching frogs and fish on in the spring and summer is awesome. But more importantly, having my children growing up with their grandma and in a better school district is also pretty nice.
Other things money can buy..most of these are not important to me but they are for some:
-Money can buy privacy (you can build your own compound).
-Money can buy prestige (you are more respected if people think you are successful or are a big donor to certain organizations)
-Money can buy into a powerful network of contacts (ie…exclusive country clubs)
-Money buys all kinds of experiences that a normal Joe does not have access to. (everything from Superbowl to literally a trip into space)
-Money buys piece of mind and a feeling of security. (if you use part of it to build a hefty emergency fund).
-Money can influence political agendas.
-Money can solve all kinds of problems.
-Money can save a life (my mom had a sibling who died as a child from a minor illness because they couldn’t afford a doctor)
-Money can buy education which can lead to knowledge.
-Money is an enabler which is limited only by the morals, integrity and imagination of it’s owner.
What to do with more money ?
That’s an easy one.
(1) travel to Europe *every* year, business class instead of cattle car.
(2) fix up our property with some cool additions, like a wraparound porch.
(3) fly friends and family with us to Europe. Coach.
(4) allocate more for direct charity.
(5) pay the full ride tuition for Number One Son at Carnegie Mellon without too much fuss.
(7) get a Kubota tractor with all the fixins.
(8) stock a 300-count humidor with crazy expensive cigars.
Money could improve my happiness by enabling me to:
1) Give more!
2) Travel at the drop of a hat to cheer on our university’s men’s basketball team in tournaments. And buy season tickets to the games when we are alumni.
3) Travel to the many places/sights I want to see in my life: the Northern Lights, the Louvre, Athens…
4) Buy the cute dresses that catch my eye! And the electronics that catch my husband’s.
5) Spend more time with far-away family and friends.
1) The additional income would mean our choice regarding whether or not Mrs. SPF stays home to raise our children would be exponentially easier. Our biggest struggle with this decision is that we want to maintain a certain lifestyle (the ability to upgrade our home, take vacations outside of North America, to save for retirement + lil’ SPF’s education).
2) Agreed 100% on housekeeping service! To get those hours back every month means more time for projects and family time.
3) Reduced stress. Lack of money causes stress, at least to us. If we didn’t worry about money I believe our stress levels would drop some.
4) A more secure marriage. Mrs. SPF and I don’t argue about money. My parents did however. They ended up being part of that statistic that indicates that if a marriage were to end the cause is most likely to be money issues/problems/disagreements.
Donate my time more to help various organizations. Currently I am only able to give time due to limited funds.
I would like to just make someones night, if we were out to dinner just buy the table next to us their dinner.
Work with kids who are less fortunate and give them things that their parents aren’t able to give them. It bring a smile to my face as well as my heart.
1. Randomly buy gifts for people on a regular basis, kinda like a modern-day Santa Claus (without the beard or belly).
2. Build and fully stock a wine cellar.
3. Teach others how to create the same wealth that I am enjoying.
If I had more money I could/would:
1) Give more – both time and money – to people in need. That’s the best feeling!
2) Take courses without worrying about how expensive they are. I could learn about psychology or women’s studies, just for fun.
3) Learn another language by immersing myself in the culture. For instance, I could go to Paris for some time to learn French (always a dream of mine)
4) Put my brother through school. He’s never been able to afford it and seeing my family happy makes me happy!
5)See my family more. I can’t afford flights to Winnipeg, MB right now, but if I made $150K /year I’m sure I could go a few times a year and watch my cousins grow up
6) Go to the spa more often. There’s something seriously amazing massages do for your psyche.
7) Do yoga. It’s expensive. But it’s proven to up your happiness levels.
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It’s not so much the level of income but rather the degree of freedom. To me, what would really make me happy is having a large income stream derived from investment income and passive income, from multiple egg baskets, and use this to re-invest for the future and pay down debt.
The future is always getting better, so keep your savings rate high and you will benefit down the road.
If I had more money, I would:
1. Pay off my mortgage – this would significantly reduce my overall level of debt and would help me sleep at night a whole lot better.
2. Start saving for my kid’s education – Sallie Mae has never been nice to me. I definitely do not want that lady going anywhere near my kids. She is such a bad influence.
3. Invest in more online properties – Have you seen the returns a decent website can make? I would buy as many of these small, income producing properties as I could manage. Then I would hire someone to manage them for me.
All of these things would allow me to spend more time with my family; which would easily ‘buy’ me a certain level of happiness.
Change A Thing:
How to use some extra bucks:
1) Enjoy the freedom to try an expensive hobby, without the pressure to get it right the first time. Maybe I would like archery, I don’t know, I can’t afford to try it!
2) Not worry about “reliability” as a major deciding factor in buying a car. Hello, 1956 Chevrolet!
3) Hire a small orchestra to follow me around and play my theme music. I’d like to have a small music theme played when I enter a room, so that everyone knows I’m nota villain!
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If I had more money, it would make me happier by:
1)being able to pay off my debts. I just had to finance an outstanding hospital bill so it wouldn’t go to collections. The knot in my gut that formed as I was signing the paperwork still hasn’t gone away.
2)being able to visit my family across country. Instead of visiting one week a year, I would go 5-6 weekends a year. I wouldn’t feel like I’m missing watching my younger cousins grow up, and all the myriad family events of birthdays, holiday parties, etc. that make the difference between simply being related and being a family.
3)I would spend a week camping somewhere…. somewhere with a lot of trees and little chance of stumbling across another person or sign that outside civilization exists. I’d do this as often as I needed to get away and recharge.
Oh, man, don’t get me started, especially if that income were passive, dividend or real estate income.
1. Buy time! Yep, I know there are only 24 hours in the day, but with more wants and needs supported by passive income I could work less and spend more time doing what I want to do, like spend time with my family.
2. Shift from working extra to volunteering. This is along the same lines as doing what I want to do, but it shifts working at a job to volunteering for a cause.
3. Spend time overseas learning the language and culture from the locals.
4. Set a Guinness World Record. I’m not sure which one, but I’ve always wanted to set a world record. 100 meter dash is probably not in my future, so I’m probably stuck with the Guinness variety. Some sweet passive income would go a long way in helping me get there.
5. Bring an invention to market. Don’t you hate watching infomercials for products you thought of 5 years earlier? Well no more! Some juicy cash could be great seed money for the next snuggie!
Oh, I’d also play a lot more practical jokes…
With that income stream, I think I could improve my quality of life and happiness quite a bit.
Just three quick ways that come to mind.
(1) Quickly build a nest egg for my kids college savings. It would bring great peace of mind knowing that their future education was secure
(2) Allow for us to contribute more to charity. Right now, since we don’t have discretionary income, we are mainly able to donate time and used items.
(3) Being able to ensure that we could take at least one nice vacation per year, can do a lot for happiness.
If I had more money I would:
1) Be happier about going to school. If money wasnt an issue, I wouldn’t feel as stressed about the loans racking up. I also would try to get the highest degree possible.
2) Have a chance to make a living doing what I really want to do. One thing I would love to make a living at is stocks. I have dabbled in trading stocks, options, and futures but would love a chance to do that everyday. That requires a fat bank account!
3) Fund a charity to help the needy. Those with money trees know others with money trees. Cash = power = getting your charity noticed.
I am happy and thankful for all I have. I have been blessed with great family and friends. But I would be thankful for more too.
Thanks everybody for a great list of ideas! This by far my largest post today!