“Every dollar you spend is a vote for what you value in life.” – Anonymous

“I like the fundamental tenets — do unto others as you would have them do unto you, try to be a good citizen, do what’s right for the people around you.” – John Bogle

I found this interesting story in John Bogle’s book, Don’t Count on It:

At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, the late Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, author Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel, Catch-22, over its whole history. Heller responds, Yes, but I have something he will never have – enough.”

Sometimes I think it makes sense to step back and think about what money can do for you instead of what you can do for more money.

I write a lot about strategies for building wealth but at some point you actually have to do something with your savings.

Jason Zweig had this interesting piece of information in Your Money and Your Brain:

In 1957, the average American earned about $10,000 (adjusted for inflation) and lived without a dishwasher, clothes dryer, TV, or air conditioner. But 35% of people surveyed then said they were “very happy” with their lives. By 2004, personal income had nearly tripled after inflation, yet 34% of the people now said they were “very happy.”

Studies have found that individuals exhibit higher levels of happiness through acts of generosity towards others than through spending money on themselves. And it doesn’t have to be a huge amount of money to trigger feelings of joy.

In one study, Harvard researchers found that getting a people to spend $5 on someone else over the course of a day made them much happier than people who spent the $5 on themselves.

Here are a couple of videos with more on money and happiness:

Here are a couple of articles I’ve read recently that do a nice job of putting the holidays into perspective:

On a lighter note, here’s my favorite Saturday Night Live Christmas song:

I Wish it Was Christmas Today (SNL)

Happy holidays.

Don’t Count on It by John Bogle



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  1. Martin commented on Dec 23

    There are people out there who would tel;l you that money cannot buy happiness. I believe these are the people who are poor and on top of it unable to see behind the horizon. These will never be happy and never will have money.

    It is not about money itself or how much money you have. It is about having enough money to live on it comfortably. Thus I like Heller’s answer. If you can say “I have enough” then you just bought happiness for yourself.

    • Ben commented on Dec 24

      It all depends on your attitude. I’ve seen people with very little money but loads of happiness with their life and those with loads of wealth but miserable with life. Having enough all depends on your lifestyle and your perspective on money. Having a rich life can mean different things to different people.