A headline struck me today, it was an article from USA Today titled “Why do we spend money on happiness we can’t afford?”. Do you see something wrong with this question? Because I do.
(Disclaimer: My comments about this have nothing to do with the content of the article, merely the headline…)
Can we ever “afford” happiness; is it really possible to buy happiness? I don’t think so. But this is the trap that Americans (and I admit, I myself) fall into over and over again. The black and white truth is that we cannot buy happiness! It’s not a commodity. And things, material items, can’t make us truly happy.
I believe that happiness is a feeling, the truth behind it is joy. And joy is something that we get from knowing that we are loved by God and redeemed through the blood of Christ.
So why do I and so many others think that buying just one more thing will bring us happiness?
Sure, we get an emotional high when we make a purchase, but why can’t we also get an emotional high from knowing that we are being responsible, frugal, self-disciplined when we choose NOT to make a purchase?
Husband and I have tried to mesh our desire for a comfortable, hospitable home and our slim budget by shopping clearance shelves for the little things and saving for the big purchases (like the leather loveseat and ottoman we recently bought at a liquidation sale for $300 or the antique trunk we found at an antique store in Ohio for $98 (which I just have to say, was actually under our budget)).
I find that the more I focus on the things in life that truly bring me happiness, joy and contentment, the less I feel the desire to spend, spend, spend.
So here are some of the things that are making me happy these days:
Wagging puppy dog tails
Cozy couch time with Husband
Cleaning my house (seriously!)
Hugging my pony
Sipping hot tea
Laughing with friends
The smell of Christmas trees
Warm fires, indoor or outdoor
Music that makes me dance
Blankets, I love blankets
Taking long walks with Husband and Puppy
Looking at pretty, twinkly lights
Candles, candles and more candles (trying to make up for the lack of fireplace in our current home)
Funny thing is, most of these require minimal, if any, money.
This is my happiness.