Whether you are managing your money for the first time, like Bekah, or you have been a Caring Professional for years, finding the time and the mindset to think about your goals, your future, and what brings you the most joy can be a challenge. As Caring Professionals we are accustomed to putting others first (i.e. our students, and our patients) so self-reflection doesn’t always make it to the top of the to-do list. Yet, when we create our Plan without first understanding our goals, objectives, and values the outcome falls flat. Let’s take a look at why joy is important to financial wellness and how we use that joy to fuel our future.
The Economics of Joy
Spending on what brings us joy is actually a strategic move. Research shows that when you spend on what brings you joy you actually get more utility per dollar. That means when our spending aligns with our personality and our values we experience higher levels of satisfaction. So much so that this effect was actually found to be stronger than the effect of individuals’ total income or the effect of their total spending!
Maybe you enjoy eating out with friends, or you’re an avid reader, or maybe you want to travel more to spend time with family. Remember, we are not just saving to spend, that money has a defined destination and we are directing it toward things that we really love and that give energy. YAS!
Give You the Latitude to Learn You
We asked Bekah to think about what a week off would look like for her. What would she do? What would be her best experience?
“I guess that’s not something that’s ever been really offered to me to just have a week, whatever I wanted. All during college, I competed (collegiate sports), so I’ve never had a spring break or anything.”
We hear you Bekah! Bekah is in a state of change. She is in a new job, new city, and meeting new friends so what brought her joy before may not be the same as what brings her joy now. This could be true for anyone experiencing a life change (hello new job, new relationship, new home). Allow yourself time to discover what brings you happiness and what your objectives are for the future. Journaling can be a great tool or pop into The Beans app to look closely at the last few months of expenses. Are there any categories or trends emerging?
Building Muscle Memory
The beauty of this self-discovery process is we can continue to revisit it as needed. We are equipping ourselves with tools to adjust our Plan as our life and financial goals change. So after we accomplish that first goal, we can move forward to the next, and the next because we understand the purpose of our efforts and that we’re building a life that feels meaningful.
Back to Bekah. She is just one month into her new job and has built her Plan in The Beans app. While she’s spending time getting to know her new city, her students, and her surroundings she’s building her Essential Savings through automated contributions. Great work Bekah! We’ll check in with her in a couple of months to see what goals she has set and how she’s investing in her money + life balance.