We all want to be happy. But what does it take to achieve happiness, and can money really buy it? Forbes author and financial planning guru Wayne von Borstel takes a different approach to money management than other wealth-building mentors. One of his teachings is that advertisers in today’s market are good at putting on pressure, and you don’t need a majority of the things companies try to sell you.
Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of buying things. We see something we want, we buy it, and then we’re happy for a little while. But, spending money is kind of like a drug and the “hit” you get wears off just as quickly, and the thing you bought loses its novelty and ends up getting lost in the shuffle with everything else. And then we start looking for the next thing to buy, and the cycle begins again.
Delayed Gratification Is a Phenomenal Skillset
Delayed gratification is the ability to resist the desire for immediate satisfaction or reward in lieu of a later benefit. Delaying gratification has been linked with higher success levels across various measures, including educational attainment, income, and relationship satisfaction.
The ability to delay gratification is linked with financial success, better mental and physical health outcomes, and lower stress and anxiety levels.
If you can delay satisfaction when you get the urge to buy something, you will be less likely to make an impulse purchase that you may later regret. Delaying gratification can be difficult, but it is a skill that can be learned with practice and will become easier over time.
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If You’re Not Content Within, Material Things Won’t Help
You can be content with very little, or you can be discontent with a lot. It’s not about what you have, it’s about your state of mind, and it’s your choice. If you’re not content within yourself or with what you already have, material things won’t change that, and you’re not likely to be content with anything else you acquire. You’ll always find something else to desire, something else to want, because it’s in our nature as humans.
The key is to find contentment within yourself. Once you do that, you’ll be able to find happiness and satisfaction in your life, no matter what you have or don’t have. Contentment is a state of mind that allows you to be happy and satisfied with your life and experiences.
Invest In Memories
Experiences are something that you can always look back on fondly. Even if you don’t have any material possessions from your experiences, you’ll always have memories of what you did, where you went, who you were with, and what you felt at the time.
Investing in experiences also builds memories and creates moments you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. And unlike material possessions, those won’t fade over time – they’ll only become more precious.
So when you’re thinking about how to spend your money, ask yourself if it’s something that will give you lasting happiness – or if it’s just a temporary fix. Chances are, it’s better to invest in something you can do versus something you can have.
Do Something New
When you’re in a rut, it can feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of unhappiness. But one of the best ways to break out of that cycle is to try something new instead of buying an object that takes up money and space. Doing something different can shake up your routine and help you discover new things that make you happy.
Of course, it can be challenging to try something new. It can be scary to venture out of your comfort zone, especially if you’re unsure what to expect. But even taking small steps to get out of your bubble and try different activities can help you create new memories and cultivate happiness.
Give To Others
Making other people happy can have a ripple effect and make everyone around you feel great too. It’s always good to know that you’ve made someone else’s day a little bit better, and this feeling won’t fade like the excitement of buying something new or spending money on luxury services.
Consider how you could give back and what kind of financial and hands-on support you can offer. One easy way to give back is to donate to charities that are important to you. You can also volunteer your time to support a cause that’s close to your heart. It’s always a good feeling to know you’ve helped someone out, especially if you weren’t expecting anything in return.
About Wayne von Borstel
Wayne von Borstel, CFP®, MSFS, CHFC®, CLU®, has been interested in money since his late teens and is the Founder and President of veteran financial planning firm von Borstel & Associates, Inc. In 1985, Wayne began to offer his skills to wealthy families in his area to understand better their financial circumstances and how to maximize their assets and return on investments.
He maintains membership with the following associations:
- International Association for Financial Planning
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
- Portland Estate Planning Council
Wayne and his wife, Marta, are also avid philanthropists who enjoy providing financial and educational opportunities to impoverished and underprivileged children in countries like Bangladesh, Papua, Indonesia, and India. They regularly visit the orphanages they support to provide hands-on help, funds, and guidance to the staff and children. Wayne von Borstel’s Ideamensch can be found here. Wayne and Marta enjoy gardening and visiting with family when not working or travelling. Learn more about Wayne von Borstel and von Borstel & Associates, Inc. at https://vonborstel.com/.
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