Yesterday I found my biggest score yet on a single walk: 16 whole cents! Six pennies and one dime, just littered on the ground as if money fell from trees (maybe they did fall from a tree? :)).
I was so excited that I not only rushed home to exclaim my exuberance to the wife (she didn’t care), but to also hit up Instagram and Twitter too, of course, to share my findings with the world. People there cared a little more, but I tell you all this is ‘cuz it made me just as happy as if I had found a $100 or even $1,000* bill instead. Which also would have been pretty exciting, but not exponentially more.
Knowing this about yourself can play a HUGE part in your finances!
Whenever we consider buying stuff we’re usually fixated on price, but what we’re really after is how much joy this new thing will bring us (bills and such excluded). We’re pretty good at knowing what these are, but we’re not so good at paying attention to the *alternatives* that can bring just as much joy into our lives as well.
- I’m just as happy… drinking beer at home as I am at a bar
- I’m just as happy… hanging with friends as I am going to the movies
- I’m just as happy… driving my beat up Caddy as I was my $25k SUV
- I’m just as happy… wearing “gently used” clothes as I am new clothes
- I’m just as happy… eating pb&j as I am hitting a new restaurant
- I’m just as happy… getting my hair cut at home as I am at the barber shop
- I’m just as happy… watching a show on my medium-sized TV vs. my old big-screen TV
- And even more shocking, I’m pretty much just as happy… having a staycation as I am a vacation!
Does that mean I don’t still eat out or buy new clothes or drink tasty beers for 10x the price? Hell no – I love doing those things too! However when comparing *happiness levels* only, they’re not that far apart. If at all. So I do more of the free/cheap stuff and continue having a sweet quality of life.
Just something to think about while out and about this week doing your thing :) No shame in enjoying the niceties out there, but remember there’s plenty of alternatives that do the same trick at a fraction of the cost. We’re lucky to have such options!
PS: Here’s another post I wrote last year along the same lines if you want to keep the juices flowing: The Exact Amount to Maximize Happiness
* $1,000 bills actually exist! And in fact $100,000 ones do too, though are extremely rare. Most of the larger denomination U.S. bills were used by banks and the Federal Government for large transactions between themselves and not the general public. Though the general public now owns a lot of these bigger bills as collectible items (and they cost way more than face value too ;)).
Killer resources and apps:
- Best Budget Templates & Spreadsheets (FREE)— The best free budget templates from around the community! Including the ones I use :)
- Personal Capital* (FREE) — A great app to track your investments and net worth. You can see an in-depth review we did here from a millionaire who checks it daily 😂
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)* (FREE TRIAL, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, with new users saving $600 on avg their first two months, and more than $6,000 over their first year! Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪
- Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This is one of my favorite apps for automatically saving money, and I even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much! You can see my full review on Digit here.
- Acorns* ($3-$5/mo) – Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then investing it right away for you. My full review of Acorns can be found here.
- Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there! Click the Honey button any time you're about to buy something online, and BOOM - any discounts it finds will be automatically applied at checkout. You can see my write up on them here.
- Credit Karma* (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND report! See my full review of these guys here.
- My Favorite Blogs + Books < -- Click here to see all my other recommendations!