Happy Money lists five principles of happy spending:
- Buy experiences
- Make it a treat
- Buy time
- Pay now, consume later
- Invest in others
It is easy to use spending money as mental confirmation that something of value is being obtained. We can equally choose to relish and recognize value in experience, atmosphere, sensuality or company. The more we make such choices, the less urge we have to treat ourselves by ‘buying something nice’ when life feels hard. That urge might be transformed into a yen to go lie in the park on a blanket and watch clouds for an hour. And before you protest that such experiential pleasures take time that most modern humans don’t have, let us remind you that time is exactly what you can choose to have more of when you spend less money.
“It was always thought that hedonism, as opposed to self-control, was the easier option,” says Bernecker. “But really enjoying one’s hedonic choice isn’t actually that simple for everybody because of those distracting thoughts.”
The less florid version is probably Mr Money Moustache and The Barefoot Investor and other FIRE (Financially independent, retire early) practitioners.