Just in time for the last-minute shopping frenzy, Ross Gittins has written this great article on money, spending, and happiness. I agree with the observation that “once you’ve satisfied your basic needs, getting and spending more money is a progressively less effective way to make yourself happier. The more you spend, the less effective each extra dollar becomes.” I agree because this is true in my own life. A well-paying job enables me to buy more “stuff”, but the stuff doesn’t add to my happiness. Not one iota. In fact, surplus monies can be a curse and a burden. (My “basic needs” are satisfied. Now what?) The article makes various suggestions for “getting more bang for your buck”. Most of these I have read about in Gittins’s books and other similar works dealing with simplicity and happiness, and all remain valid. I know all this in my head. Remembering to act upon and integrate these learnings into my life is more tricky. Mostly because I just darn forget! So let me be like the Belgians in the article and cultivate a “strong capacity to savour the mundane joys of daily life”, “buy experiences instead of things”, use those experiences to build relationships, and do as Jesus instructed and give generously.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35)
Read more here: For it’s in giving that you receive happiness by Ross Gittins (SMH online edition; 21 Dec 2011)