More than Money

More than Money

Every time a lottery comes around, I start thinking about what I would do if I won. The mega millions lottery from a couple of weeks ago was over 1 billion dollars, so I could do a lot with that. The first thing I would do is pay off all of my student loans. I have a quite a substantial amount, which is why I would have to win the lotto in order to be able to pay all of it off at one time. After that I would pay off parent’s debt and my siblings debt as well, and then I would buy myself a house and a brand new car. I’d put enough into some sort of savings account so that just in case I ever fell on hard times I wouldn’t have to worry, and then I’d invest some of it as well. I would also set aside some to allow me to vacation wherever I wanted for the rest of life. Some of it could also go to my family and close friends for their financial needs. But even after doing all of that, I would still have millions of dollars leftover that I wouldn’t know what to do with, and that’s why I would end up giving the remainder to charity.

Everyone always talks about how they would be so much happier if they were rich, but I honestly don’t think I would. Research suggests that you only need $75,000 a year to be happy. Anything over that won’t make a difference. And that kind of makes sense to me. If I was making that much then I would have enough to provide for my most basic needs, and I’d even have some leftover to splurge on a vacation or two. But even if I was making that much money, I don’t think it would necessarily make me happy. I know that I wouldn’t be stressing out about how I was going to be able to pay my bills, but that doesn’t mean that I would be able to say that I was happy because of that.

Happiness doesn’t come from money. If it did then you would never hear about millionaires and billionaires being depressed. That’s why you have to find happiness outside of money. Happiness can be found in the little moments. You don’t have to be rich to spend the day with one of your friends. You can laugh until your sides hurt and talk from dusk ‘til dawn and that won’t cost you a single cent. You’ll be able to make great memories that can look back on years from now and smile at. Some of my favorite moments in life have been just when I was hanging out with my friends talking. We weren’t doing anything special. We were just enjoying each other’s presence. And yes I’ve also had these types of experiences when I was on vacation or some place fancy, but I remember the moments that I shared with the people that I care about more than I remember the actual location that I was at. If you removed those locations from my memory, I would still be able to look back at the memories with fondness because of the people that would remain there.

Even though we hear the saying “money doesn’t happiness,” all the time, but I think many of us don’t believe that it’s true. A couple of days before this most recent mega millions lottery was picked, the 7-Eleven on my way home from work was packed. It took me awhile to realize why everyone was there, but once I figured it out, I couldn’t help but think how crazy it was that the parking lot was jammed-pack full of people just so that they could have the miniscule chance of buying the winning lottery ticket. There are people in third world countries that are happier than a lot of us here in the first world, and some of these people don’t even know where their next meal is going to come from. They find happiness from other things, and so can you.

Enjoy the little things, positive thinker. Yes money is important, but having more of it isn’t going to make you happy. When you learn that lesson, you can really start enjoying your life!