Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Can Money Buy Happiness? It Depends on Your Perspective

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Currently, I'm reading All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending by Laura Vanderkam. This the second book I've read by Vanderkam. I blogged about 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. You can read that post here.

I enjoy reading Vanderkam's books because even if I don't agree with everything she writes, she makes me think and serves up a fresh platter of perspective.

All the Money takes so much of what I've read, heard or experienced about making and spending money and twists it topsy-turvy. Vanderkam confronts the popular "frugality approach" to saving (cut out all non-essentials, eat rat-lip bologna for every meal and cut coupons like a crazy person) head on, boldly suggesting (and proving with data) that in the grand scheme of fiscal responsibility, penny-pinching in the small areas really doesn't make that big of an impact to the bank account, but it can certainly drain the happiness account.

Instead of asking the traditional question, "How can I save more?" Vanderkam looks at money through the lens of "How could I make more?" She also encourages readers to step back and shine a new light on their financial choices (past, present and future)  As with 168 Hours, Vanderkam's book is well-researched and peppered with anecdotes of people and families who altered their perspective of money with some amazing results.

I'm already thinking of ways I can pull down some green while doing activities that interest me.  The book isn't an easy read, but it's not rocket science, either. And while I skipped or skimmed the sections and chapters that were irrelevant to me, the book is thought-provoking, intelligent and useful. Check it out! And I mean that both literally and figuratively (I borrowed my copy from the local library - frugality at its finest!). Cha-Ching!

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.

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