A few weeks ago, some members of the Tribeca team took to the streets of Melbourne to gain a better understanding of the level of financial wellness among every day Australians. The results were surprising, finding that whilst 1 in 2 Australians are financially stressed, most of us do not consider money to be a part of our overall wellbeing.
In total, only 38% of people surveyed associated money with their wellbeing. That means over 3 in 5 people believe that their finances have nothing to do with their quality of life. Along with this, the survey also revealed that 37% of people have given up on a dream because of their financial situation.
So, if our finances are causing so many of us to give up on our goals, why are we so reluctant to admit that money has an impact on our wellbeing?
Quality over quantity
I’ve mentioned previously that it’s not the amount of money you have that matters – it’s how you spend it. This is something that the entire Tribeca team stand by to this day. Despite this, it’s still important to recognise that money plays an extremely important part in our lives.
When our survey results indicated that most people don’t see how money influences their wellbeing, I knew that it needed to be discussed.
Chances are, you were taught from an early age that your happiness isn’t dependent on money. Like most, your parents probably encouraged you to do what makes you happy, rather than choose a career solely for the pay cheque. For the most part, this is true. We should always put our happiness first. But we must also understand that money is an essential part of life and that with it, you can buy happiness – you just have to know how to spend it.
Before you dismiss the concept, think to yourself – what makes you happy? What does your ‘Good Life’ look like?
For me, my Good Life is spending as much time as possible with family and friends. Whilst money can’t buy me more time, I can use it to take time off work and fund a family weekend getaway.
Aiming to give your children the best education possible? Sending them to private schooling is only possible if you have enough money.
That new language you’ve been meaning to learn? Money will pay for your classes.
Without money, many of the goals we dream of would be impossible. So, although you can’t purchase happiness outright, you can buy the items or experiences that you’ll need in order to reach it. However, we still need to be aware of how we’re spending our money.
How not to spend your money
Your Good Life might be travelling across the globe, but if you’re out on a shopping spree buying items on a whim that you don’t really need, the money you’re spending isn’t helping you find happiness.
You could have $1k or $100k in savings, but if you haven’t assessed your goals and identified what your Good Life looks like, the outcome will be the same – you won’t find happiness no matter how much money you have.
If you’re looking for a tool to help you identify your Good Life, our goal-setting e-book can help. You can download it for free here.
The key takeaway here is that if we use it to make purchases that will help us reach our goals, money can buy us happiness. Rather than seeing money as a necessary evil, it’s time we start viewing it as a tool that can help us live our Good Life.