All happiness depends upon courage and work.
For a little while I’ve been trying to work out what is really important in Life. In as simple terms as possible, what is that we all strive for, what do we really want, what is life all about, really? So help me, I came up with; Health, Wealth, and Happiness.
I don’t think these desirable states of being are even on the standard Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, I believe that you can’t have good health, sufficient money to live reasonably well, and sufficient contentment to deem yourself happy, unless the criteria within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is also being met. You know, Maslow was much smarter than just drawing pyramids, he was also a deep thinker when it came to the science of happiness.
The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important. ~ Abraham Maslow.
Wishing people health, wealth, and happiness used to be a very common toast in my part of the world. Perhaps these days some people may turn their noses up at the ‘wealth’ part ~ most likely those people have never know what it is to be dirt poor.
- Health. By this we really mean having Good Health, for the great majority of your time on this Earth. But, like all things, good health is a paradox. In comparison to our forefathers we are all in good health, but future generations may well look back and pity the standards of health and fitness we know today. For my personal health I like yoga and long walks.
- Wealth. Conspicuous wealth isn’t so important, but having enough money to comfortably meet the criteria of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is desirable. Money may not be able to buy you love, but money will get you a fair amount of sex. Money gives you freedom from many worries. Having a little spare cash creates opportunities. Personally, I’d rather be miserable with a few pounds in the bank than miserable and broke.
- Happiness. The great imponderable. For many of us happiness comes from being fit and healthy, and having enough money to be free from many worries. Happiness is also not having a host of negative emotions; anger, envy, fear, jealousy, lust… There are as many ways to real happiness as there are people on this planet of ours.
I found real happiness the day I stopped being a wage slave. Happiness also comes from not being pestered by idiots, such as your boss. Phone calls from telemarketing people, Google filling my screen with crap and not what I searched for, Facebook targeting me with advertisements for things I’ve long since moved on from, and people with clipboards wanting to talk with me in the street ~ all of these things seem designed to disrupt my health, wealth and happiness. I have a simple answer for those leeches~ fuck off, and please don’t keep in touch.
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. ~ Shakespeare.
Being at peace with myself, knowing that I’ve not been a leech or a jerk, means that I can go to bed at night feeling somewhat happy. But, like most people I’m never totally satisfied with my day’s endeavours.
On the other hand, I can easily walk a dozen miles a day, I can do yoga on the beach in the sunshine, I eat well, I have no money worries, and don’t go to bed feeling like crap. So, perhaps real Health, Wealth, and Happiness is possible after all.
yoga for men is cool
Most People Don’t Really Manage Their Money.
After more years in Banking and Finance than I care to admit, I can remember very few people who took responsibility for, and properly managed, their personal finances. In my bitter experience, most people lived from one month to another without knowing where their money was going, or what they could really afford, or what was totally outside their budget.
If it comes to that, very few people have a proper, written, up to date, personal and household budget. If you can put your hand up and say that you do, and that it is actually written down, (or on a spreadsheet, or otherwise on your computer), then you can skip the rest of this post and award yourself a gold star.
The point of having a budget is that it stops you being caught out by unpleasant financial surprises. A budget also lets you plan ahead, for the rest of this year, next year, for the next two or three years, for a wedding, your kid’s college, for your retirement…
These are the steps you need to follow if you are going to create or revise your budget.
- Make a list of all the money you owe. Before you save anything, before you make any investments, you should work towards paying off any and all loans and credit cards balances you have. And, you can’t plan to pay off your loans early if you don’t have a proper budget.
- Make a list of all the regular payments you have to make. These will range from your mortgage, property taxes, utilities bills, right through to charitable donations, cable TV, and gym membership…
- Make a list of your usual necessary expenses that you pay as you go along. How much petrol do you put in your car each month? How much do you spend on groceries, clothes, shoes…
- Make a list of how much your usual discretionary purchases are costing you. These are things you don’t actually need. How much do you spend at your local bar or any bars. How much does eating out cost you each month? What do you pay for cigarettes / vaping supplies each month. How much do you waste on gambling and booze.
- Write down anything else that you buy on a regular basis, and how much it costs you. Add in an amount for contingencies; all that stuff you can’t remember buying, and those weird impulse purchases.
- Put all these lists of the money you spend into order of importance.
- Turn all these lists into a monthly budget, which might look something like this;
Obviously your numbers will be totally different, and you may have some different categories, for example; health insurance, pet care insurance, cigarettes, booze, sports club membership…. (And as it goes, the example I’ve shown is poorly ordered, for example Transportation should be above toiletries and grooming.)
This kind of budget lets you begin to do some real financial planning.
Look at your budget, the most vital things should be at the top, and the things you could really get by without should be at the bottom. It should fit with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (albeit turned on its head)
If your monthly total is less than you earn, all well and good. Don’t save or invest your spare cash, use it to pay off some of the money you owe, like your mortgage. Saving or investing while you owe money elsewhere is stupid money management.
If your monthly total is more than you earn, you’re in trouble. You need to cut your spending, and you start by cutting at the bottom of your budget, not at the top. Spend less money in bars, buying cigarettes, eating out, gambling, buying booze, being the member of a gym…
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery. ~ Mr Mcawber, by Charles Dickens
Don’t even think about saving, investing, buying a new car, or building your pension fund, if you don’t have a proper realistic and honest written budget, one that you can stick to. You know it’s good advice, the kind of advice George Bailey would give you.
these opinions are mine and mine alone