The Happiest People In The World Spend Their Money

People can feel trapped by their careers–whether it’s because they’re earning too little, are waiting for a big payout, or have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Laura Vanderkam’s new book, All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending, offers a new approach to finances for a modern, more flexible reality.

Work, life, and money are intertwined intimately, and yet they’re rarely addressed together. As the traditional boundaries that used to define “work” and “life” disappear, the conventional beliefs related to money must also evolve.

This is the message of Laura Vanderkam’s new book, All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending (Portfolio, 2012). By taking on outdated money beliefs, Vanderkam offers a new approach to finances for a modern, more flexible reality. Some of the changes she advocates include:

Be more mindful about what your money could buy. Make purchases that improve your happiness.  For many, that means spending on experiences, not things.  Using the example of the money we have traditionally paid for expensive engagement rings and weddings, Vanderkam calculates how many trips, periodic bouquets of flowers, date nights, babysitters, and hours of housecleaning that money could buy over the years.  These are services and experiences that, in the long run, could bring more enjoyment to a couple than a big ring and wedding.

Challenge the big house, big yard, two car “American dream.”  Vanderkam points out that these purchases often come with a longer commute by car, more responsibilities for lawn care, and housekeeping.  Studies show that none of these activities increase happiness.

Don’t just scrimp and save. Find ways to increase your earnings.  Yes, the increased flexibility in work and careers can be scary and unsettling, but it also provides new, exciting opportunities to make more money.  Vanderkam calls it the “1099 mindset.”  Even if you have a more traditional job, think about work the way freelancers or contract workers–people who get 1099s–do. If you are a teacher, tutor. If you’re interested in a topic, start a blog that you monetize. Be creative.

Rethink retirement. In other words, don’t expect to ever retire.  Instead, embrace a second or “encore” career.

Yes, work and life have transformed over the past two decades. With All the Money in the World, Laura Vanderkam is shows us that we have to update and evolve that way we think about money as well.  In addition to the book, you can connect with Vanderkam on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

What do you think?  How have you found yourself rethinking the way to approach and manage money as your work and career have become less traditional and more flexible?

Source: Fast Company BY FC EXPERT BLOGGER CALI WILLIAMS YOST


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