I recently just finished reading “Playing with FIRE” by Scott Rieckens. I found one of many particular ideas in the book helpful in my life; make a list of the top 10 things that make you happy. Then ask your partner to do the same. I tried this, and found that nothing on our lists, when we compared them together, cost a ton of money-I suspect this would be a similar story among most people- that being said, we may be lucky and have very inexpensive needs that make us happy.
For example, finding a campground and reading a good book all week would provide more happiness than say going to Hawaii for a week. As an example it might cost me $30 to drive to a free campground as well as wear and tear on my camping gear but a trip to Hawaii might cost $3,000 (I’m not really sure but that sounds about right). So for about 1% of the cost I get more happiness points.
Some other things that make me happy on my top 10 list include:
- Slow mornings to just wake up and enjoy some coffee and a good breakfast.
- Time with friends maybe making dinner at a local beach or a hike. I don’t really like going to restaurants as they can be loud and difficult get a good experience with friends
- Solo running and hiking to recharge.
- Helping family and friends with projects or general life advice
- Teaching (probably why I started this blog)
- Paddle boarding or kayaking especially in the early mornings
- Reading and writing
- Some sort of personal achievements such as working as a nurse (but not full time) starting some sort of business or volunteering.
- Traveling (just got back from Alaska a few weeks ago) However, I mostly like local traveling especially on Vancouver Island.
So make your list and see if your spending matches your priorities. Are you being inefficient with your money or getting the most happiness you can from each dollar?