As I mentioned in my previous posting, I bought this book called the “100 Simple Secrets of Happy People.” Not surprisingly only two of the one hundred secrets directly mentioned money. And both declared that money would not buy you happiness.
There are two other secrets of happiness listed in the book which indirectly involve money. They are #27 and #55 . In secret #27, ‘Don’t confuse stuff with success’, the author writes, ‘You are neither a better nor worse person for the kind of car you drive, the size of your home, or the performance of your mutual funds. Remember what really matters in your life.’ The author asks you to imagine your last day on Earth and to construct a list of things that make you feel proud, happy, and accomplished. He says that list wouldn’t include cars and salaries but rather relationships with friends, and the celebrated events of your life. I completely agree with this secret. I often find my friends comparing cars, trips and homes. My female friends are always out buying new shoes and new clothes, but as you lay on your death bed many years from now do you think any of your material possessions will pop into your mind?
Secret #55, ‘Buy What you Like’, mimics secret #27 just a little. In this secret the author says you shouldn’t accumulate possessions for the sake of having a lot of stuff. If you buy things that are important to you, you can appreciate them every day. In this secret the author notes that it is just as bad to wastefully spend money on items, as it is to be too frugal to spend money on items you would truly value. After all, he says, the purpose of saving is to allow you to buy what you need.
I agree that you should not clutter your home with needless items that take up too much space and cost too much money. Although it’s difficult I try not to buy unnecessary items. In fact, the majority of my Christmas wish list is filled with things to do rather than things to own. I have asked for hockey tickets, basketball tickets, restaurant gift certificates, and cooking lessons so that I can entertain friends and family at home. I consider it spending money on memories, which in the end will be a whole lot more valuable than a house full of junk.