List the ways money can buy happiness:
- Money can take away some of the worry of “what if”s, that can be a huge drain on the potential for joy. What if I need to replace my roof? What if I break a leg and can’t work? What if I get sick? What if my car breaks down? A little money socked away can be extremely reassuring.
- I would have so much fun finishing my house, if money were no object. Never settling, I’d expect the very best materials and workmanship. I would love to insist that every single electrical outlet be replaced, so that they are all straight, and all matching white. Walls would be smoothed and covered with fresh paint. Floors would be finished. I’d have nice woodwork around every closet, window and door. I wouldn’t worry about what needs to be done first, or what might fall apart next, because it would ALL be done! Meantime, whenever I have the means to finish a project, no matter how small, I am happy about it.
- With enough money, I could do more for the people I care about. When I was making good tips as a waitress, before I had a mortgage on my house, I often found myself with enough disposable income for occasional bouts of unrestrained spending. One Christmas, I bought each of my daughters a sewing machine. After so many Christmases when every gift had to be tightly budgeted, that felt like a huge extravagance, and it brought me unquestionable joy. I’ve enjoyed rare shopping trips when money was no object. When I make lists (which I do, more often than I like to admit) of how I’d spend a million dollars, if it were to drop into my lap, first on the list are the things I’d buy or do for others. How exciting to plan a trip with my daughters and their families, to treat my sisters to a luxury vacation, to take Chris on a shopping spree, to make sure there are college funds for any of my grandchildren that want to pursue higher education, and to see that Madeline gets to Paris. I’d love to provide comfort and even a touch of wild excess to those friends and family members who have known, as I do, the grind of living paycheck to paycheck, without anything to fall back on if those earnings were stopped. In the meantime, I take pleasure in doing what I can, with the funds that I have. A few times, I’ve been able to treat others who are important to me (and who have often been generous to me), to a meal or a special gift, and that makes me happy, too.