Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can money buy happiness?

There's an old saying, "Money doesn't buy happiness". My response to this used to always be, "I'd love to give it a try!"Whilst that has never happened (I live comfortably, but definitely don't consider myself flushed with money) it has got me wondering if the saying is true - does money really equal happiness?

Looking at friends of mine who could be considered to be 'well off', I believe that the source of their happiness does not come from their material possessions - even if they strongly argue otherwise! One friend of mine drinks only the best wine, but it is not the wine that makes him happy, it is the act of sharing it with friends. Another has a rather expensive SUV, but the real happiness comes not from the car, but from the joy of taking her family to the beach.

Whilst these people may be under the illusion (ok, they may argue the point quite strongly to justify their purchases!)that it is the wine or the SUV causing their happiness, I beg to differ. I put it to them that if you take away the posessions, take away the expensive wine, take away the SUV, you still have the source of your happiness - time with friends and family!

I like to view possessions as an accessory to happiness - great if you have them, but not essential!

I put it to you - Can money buy happiness?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why do we go to work?

Welcome to my new blog "Simple Life, Better Life".

Whilst the idea for this blog has been in my mind for a while, it is only recently that I really started considering my life and the path that it was headed. I recently read a statistic that states the average time spent at work in a lifetime is 93,600 hours. 93,600 hours!!!

This really hit home a few days ago when I was asked by a financial planner, "Why do you go to work?". Whilst the obvious answer was, "To make money", I was encouraged to delve deeper and consider what we want the money for. Whilst I like to think I earn money to enjoy a nice lifestyle, it has occurred to me that I may be mistaking 'great lifestyle' with 'lots of stuff'.

Are we spending the majority of our life working just for 'stuff'? The latest plasma TV, the newest model car and everything else we need to keep up with the Jones'. Would you be willing to sacrifice your plasma TV for an extra 5 hours at home with your children? Would you give up the latest gadget if it meant you could go for a nice meal with your partner?

At only 28, society dictates that i should be moneycentric - focused on making money and spending money - however I am proposing that there is an alternative option. That living a simpler life (with less 'stuff') can actually create a better life.

I'm looking forward to sharing my learning process with you, and seeing if a simple life really is a better life.

I'd love to hear your thoughts - why do you go to work?