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Money Can Buy Happiness

Does money equal happiness | BIGG SuccessMoney can’t buy happiness. We’ve heard it over and over.

Mostly from people who don’t have money!

Is it true? No, it’s not. For two reasons.

First, research has shown that when money buys basic needs which weren’t being met before, there is a huge spike in happiness.

Beyond that, however, spending money leads to only momentary increases in happiness. The happiness is gone before the newness wears off.

However, the second reason is more compelling.

Elizabeth Dunn is a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on why people inaccurately predict their future well-being.

For example, in one study, she asked people whether they would be happier spending $5 to $20 on themselves or on others. The majority said they would rather spend it on themselves.

She then gave a second group envelopes stuffed with either $5 or $20. Half were told to spend the money on themselves. The other half were instructed to buy a gift for someone or donate it.

The people who gave it away were happier than those who spent it on themselves!

She followed this study with two more – one that looked at what people did with a bonus and another that looked at giving as a percentage of income. . She found that happiness was driven more by the amount given than the amount received.

She said that “if [giving] becomes a way of living, then it could make a lasting difference.”

As we enjoy this “most wonderful time of the year,” this study serves as a reminder that the spirit of giving should be with us all year.

Money can buy happiness when you give it away.

Giving sends a signal to your brain. It says that you have more than enough. It creates a sense of abundance. And it leads to many happy returns. That’s BIGG success!

A Technique to Cut Costs

spendingHere’s a concept that business owners often struggle to really understand: Every penny you spend is an investment.

We’re used to seeing investments show up on our Balance Sheet. We buy a new computer and we see it added there.

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When we spend money on advertising or office supplies, it shows up on our Income Statement rather than our Balance Sheet.

But we’re still spending money. It’s an investment for the purpose of increasing our sales.

The financial statement on which it shows up on is based on accounting rules. We have to understand that we are spending the money with the purpose of increasing sales.

Interdependence of business and personal finances

While we say business owners, this concept applies to our personal finances as well.

As a business owner, particularly a business owner who owns 100% of your firm, your business finances and personal finances are completely linked.

Not in a legal sense – you’ll want to talk with your attorney to select the right entity for your company – but in a philosophical sense.

Your business has to do well or it will affect your personal finances. We all get that.

What a lot of people forget is that their standard of living may affect their business. If you spend too much personally, you put more of a burden on your business to produce more income for you to take out of the business. It can really add to the pressure, particularly for a start-up business.

In our personal lives, every penny we spend should add to our happiness. If it doesn’t, it’s not a worthwhile expenditure.

Start from scratch

There’s a technique that helps you decide if the returns you’re getting are sufficient. It’s called zero-based budgeting.

For every line item on your Income Statement, you assume you don’t need to spend any money. Then you add to it for the outlays you determine will give you the return you desire.

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georgeI do this in my businesses every three years. Costs can creep in. You commit to this service or that program. It all adds up. Instead of doing it all every three years, you may pick a few line items every year for review. Just make sure you cycle through all of them every few years or so.

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marylynnLet’s take an example that applies to our businesses and our personal lives – our cell phone. I might ask myself: Do I need the package I currently have or could I cut back? Do I need unlimited texting?

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You’ll also consider alternatives. If you weren’t spending this amount of money on your cell phone, what might you spend it on? You might find you could increase sales faster or be a lot happier if you spent this money on another thing.

You might decide to increase your long-term happiness and invest this newfound money. That may make you happier now and then.

By justifying the expense all over again, away from the emotional point of purchase, you’ll spend your money on what you really want. You’ll get the returns you seek. That’s bigg success.

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Thanks for the gift of your time today. Please join us next time when we ask, “Have you evolved enough?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Free Food and Fun with Friends

clown.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on play.

As the song says, “Girls just want to have fun.” So do bigg girls and bigg boys.

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Spending time without spending money

One of the greatest joys in life is spending time with close friends. These days we’re being careful with our money which can sometimes create a challenge in spending time with friends.

For example, do you stay in or go out? If you go out, are you excluding some friends by going to a certain restaurant or choosing a specific activity? One or more of your friends may not be able to afford it.

The great thing about spending time with friends is that you don’t have to spend any money at all if you don’t want. It’s about spending time together.

A pantry potluck

One of our friends had a great idea. You can have some fun with friends and clean out clutter – in your cabinets and freezer – without spending any money. How’s that for a killer combination?

Organize a “pantry potluck.” Here’s how it works – Plan a date to get together. For your meal, everyone prepares at least one dish from ingredients they already have in their kitchen.

Get creative. Dig deep in your freezer. Check the back of your cabinets.

It’s essentially a free meal for everyone because the money’s already been spent!

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marylynn
I think it would be hard not to spend money on something new.

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george
I’m not surprised to hear you say that, Mary-Lynn!

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marylynnWell, off the top of my head, I’m just thinking about what we have. Fritos but not even a full bag. Cake mix but no frosting.

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georgeBoy, Mary-Lynn, I can tell I do most of the cooking around here. I think we have a lot of things that would be perfect for a pantry potluck.

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marylynnSo we checked out our freezer. We have a bag of French fries but, just as I suspected, there was only about a third left.

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georgeYeah, but we also have a full bag of meatballs. They would be great for a potluck. And there’s a lot of chicken. In our cabinets, there’s a cream of mushroom soup can – that would be good with the meatballs. Oh, and cream of chicken and herb soup – I’m thinking chicken casserole of some sort. There’s marinara sauce so we could do the meatballs two ways.

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marylynnI also see a can of tuna and some tuna helper. I guess you were right, George. We do have a lot of options for the pantry potluck.

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georgeSince Mary-Lynn was worried about frosting for the cake, I remembered that we had cream cheese in the refrigerator. So we looked up a recipe for cream cheese frosting; it turns out that we have everything we need – butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

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marylynnI’ve never made cream cheese frosting before. I sure hope our friends don’t mind being the guinea pigs!

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Ramp it up

Now here’s the bigg idea. If you want to ramp up the fun even more, have a contest. You may vote on the most original dish, the tastiest, the most home-made or any other category you might like.

You can even up the ante by choosing a theme and asking everyone to bring a dish that goes along with that theme. Now your creativity will get pushed even more but it might make it more fun.

That’s the whole reason we’re talking about this. You can have fun with your friends, clear out clutter and not spend any money all while improving creativity skills. That’s a lot of synergy. That’s bigg success!

What’s in your pantry now that you could take to a potluck?

Thank you so much for reading our post today.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we discuss a bigg question from one of our listeners. He wants to know if he should pay down his mortgage or make some home improvements.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00390-050809.mp3

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When Your Definition of Success Changes

questioning_terms.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. That’s how we define it. We were talking a few days ago …

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marylynnI said that we should make something clear about life on your own terms. I could be going through a mid-life crisis. Does life on my own terms mean getting a fancy new sports car, spending money like crazy, going clubbing, shirking my responsibilities, and walking away from relationships, all in an attempt to get my youth back?

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Life on your own terms is not a license for poor behavior

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It should be an ideal that we strive to live up to. It’s about finding our purpose for being here and then deploying all of our resources to live up to that promise.

Because of that, it’s not a selfish thing. We can’t reach bigg success without the help of others. In this age of interdependence, we are able to live our lives on our own terms by helping others live their lives on their own terms.

Life on your own terms is also not a passing fancy

It’s a direction, not a point. It’s very emotional because it is so personal, but it’s not based on one’s feelings at this moment.

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georgeI may feel depressed right now. Does that mean life on my own terms means being depressed? Of course not.

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marylynnFeeling down from time to time is something we all experience, but we have to respond to it, not just accept it or give in to it. Going to the mid-life crisis example, maybe I’m not feeling as young as I used to. Is the answer really to blow a bunch of money and waste a lot of time?

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georgeBigg goal-getters accept that there are some things that we can’t change. No amount of money is going to make me any younger physically. We recognize the realities of our situation and respond positively to keep moving toward our bigg goals – where we want to go, what we want to achieve, who we want to be known as.

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Each day we write another page of our autobiography. We show the world who we are by how we live our lives.

Life on your own terms is dynamic, not static

While it’s not a passing fancy, it does evolve over time as we discover more about ourselves and the world around us.

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georgeI remember when I was in my early twenties – life on my own terms then meant being in the Forbes 400. I wanted to get rich in my own business. Then I heard Donald Trump asked about the difference between $70 million and $700 million. He said, “A bigger boat.” I realized then that I didn’t need a bigger boat!

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marylynn
So how did that change your terms?

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georgeI decided it wasn’t worth my time to work that hard to make the extra money. If all I was going to get out of it was a bigger boat, I wasn’t interested. Don’t get me wrong; money still helps! But life on my own terms evolved to building quality relationships and sharing experiences.

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marylynn
Your desire to own your own business didn’t change?

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george
Oh no, that desire definitely stayed the same.

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marylynnSo life on your own terms changed as a result of this new information. You realized there were more important things to you than the money you thought you wanted. But you still wanted to be in business for yourself.

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georgeYou may decide that less is more like I did. Or you may realize that you’ve been selling yourself short and you want more.

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It’s life on your own terms. It’s not a license for poor behavior. It’s not a passing fancy. But it is dynamic; it may change over time as you gain knowledge about yourself and your environment.

How has your definition of life on your own terms changed over time?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thank you so much for reading our post today!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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New research shows that a promotion may be good for your wealth, but not necessarily your health. Please join us next time to find out why.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00373-041509.mp3

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Is Convenience Busting Your Budget?

time-money The good people at CareerBuilder recently posted the results of a survey of workers. Forty-seven percent of the people surveyed said they “always” or “usually” live paycheck to paycheck.

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Does more money help?

One way to stop living paycheck to paycheck is to make more money. Forty-two percent said an additional $500 each month would help make ends meet.  Fourteen percent already work more than one job.

The amount of money that comes into a household does make a difference, but not as much as you might think. Twenty-one percent with salaries of $100,000 or more said they also live from payday to payday.

We’re working ourselves to death instead of thinking about the other solution to the more month than money problem. We need to look at our lifestyle. We’re so busy trying to make more money to support our lifestyle that we end up spending money we wouldn’t need to spend if we just slowed down and honestly assessed our situation.

Convenience expenses

We’re so busy that we spend more money on “convenience expenses”. We define convenience expenses as the premium we pay for goods and services because we don’t have time.

So we end up in a downward spiral – we work more to have more, but then we
spend more and we don’t have any time to figure out how to do anything differently.

One example of a convenience expense is that we eat out more than we plan to. An appointment runs long. We get stuck in a traffic jam. The boss needs to talk. The next thing you know it’s late. Now we feel we have no choice. We’ve hit that wall. We’re hungry now! We’re too tired to do anything but grab some carry-out or order delivery.

Cutting back

It may seem like a small expense, but it eats away at your budget (pun intended). If you’re feeling like we’ve described you perfectly, don’t feel like you’re alone. We’re right there with you! Here are some ways we’ve found to cut back on this convenience expense:

Always stock some food that’s easy to stick in the oven or microwave.

Then if you’re running late, you can have less expensive convenience food. Plus you’ll save the time of stopping or running out for carry-out.

Plan for leftovers

If our next week’s schedule looks busy, we’ll cook up a little extra food on the weekend so we have leftovers which can be nuked in a matter of minutes. These leftovers are also an excellent way to save money on going out for lunch. There are more productive ways to spend a lunch hour than driving back and forth.

Invest time today to save money tomorrow

By planning next week’s meals, you can find coupons for the items you want to purchase. It’s like printing money legally as we learned from Crissy Thompson, who often spends as little as $10 a week to feed her family of five.

You can also think about where you shop. They’re called “convenience stores” for a reason! We pay a price to be able to run into the store and grab something on our way home.

This is just one example of the many convenience expenses. If you’re living payday to payday or not saving as much as you would like, think about your convenience expenses and the time / money interplay.

There is a huge trade-off between time and money. If you have money,
you can save time. If you don’t have money, it’s important to really
 think about how you’re using your time and try to save money.

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You can get the tips and tools you need to be a bigg success
Subscribing to the Bigg Success Weekly! It’s conveniently e-mailed to you once a week. And it doesn’t cost you any money! But the time you spend reading it will help you make and save money! How’s that for a deal?

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Next time, we’ll discuss how to create wealth in today’s new economy. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00261-111008.mp3

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