As you continue to use the month of December to reflect, think about how money can be used as a tool to improve your life and increase your overall happiness.
Below is a list of the best questions to ask yourself as you think about your money and your life. I encourage you to print this list and spend some time writing your answer to each one.
- When were you the happiest or filled with the most joy in the last week?
- When were you the happiest or filled with the most joy in the last year?
- If you had to give away all of your money to one charitable cause, what would it be?
- What is something you do in any given day/week/month that you like the least?
- When have you felt like you were having the greatest positive impact on the world?
- If you got extremely sick, died, or lost your job tomorrow, what safety nets do you have in place to support yourself and/or your loved ones?
- Imagine yourself in 10 years. What would you tell yourself to do differently today?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- If you could make one change to the place you currently live to make it more enjoyable, what would you change?
- What are you the most proud of from the last week?
- What are you the most proud of from the last year or two?
- What would your ideal ordinary day look like?
Consider your answers and ask yourself how money could impact each of these or what the impact of money is based on each of your answers.
For example, if what brought you the most joy in the last week was dancing in your living room with your kids, could you work a little bit less (and earn a little less) in order to spend more time dancing? Or should you buy a premium music streaming subscription so you listen to fewer commercials?
As you think about things you don’t enjoy doing, can you outsource any tasks? For example, can you hire someone to do your grocery shopping or food preparation?
For the deepest questions, you may need to spend more time reflecting and refining your answers. To create your ideal day, you may need to think about the impact of earning less. If something you want for your home or a place you’d like to travel to is expensive, how could you start saving just a little bit out of each paycheck to create a fund for it?
Money in and of itself doesn’t create happiness. However, if you use money in a way that aligns with your values, you can increase your overall happiness.