Getting the most life value out of your money

By: Sijun Li

For decades, experts have discussed the connection between money and happiness.

Accomplishing true happiness is a goal to which most people aspire, but it’s challenging to live your “best life” when you’re struggling with a web of obligations. Figuring out how to pay bills or save money, find the perfect career, establish a loving relationship and maintain a close network of friends and family can certainly be stressful.

Many money experts believe that while your paycheck will never be the solution to all of your life woes, it can play a big role in helping you become a happier and healthier person – if you spend it wisely.

A recent article in Time Magazine highlighted a common scenario many people fall victim to when they’re upset: Retail therapy. Do you ever find yourself venturing to the mall or shopping online when you’ve had a bad day? If so, you may fall into this category. However, the temporary high you feel is unlikely to truly make you feel any better, and in some cases, may make you feel worse. Instead of spending money on short-lived, materialistic items, many experts encourage consumers to put their money toward purchases the provide life value. These purchases include those that provide experience and opportunities to learn.

Listed below are several ways you can put your money to its maximum use:

1. Take a class

Whether you want to learn how to become a gourmet chef, write poetry, obtain a certification in a desired field or just take a literature course because you enjoy, taking advantage of educational opportunities can be enriching. In addition, most community colleges or adult learning centers offer them at highly affordable rates.

2. Travel

Regardless of whether you put away enough savings to take an African safari or simply fly to a new city for a few days, being in a new place, meeting new people and taking in a different culture can be exciting and give you a fresh take on life.

3. Focus on fitness

Mind and body go hand-in-hand, and putting money toward improving your health can have positive long-term benefits. If you’re sick of spending tireless and boring hours at the gym, consider signing up for a race sponsored by a charity of your choice or take a new and interesting course, such as Krav Maga or rock-climbing. Cooking a healthy dinner for yourself several nights a week and trying out new recipes will also improve your well-being and allow you to focus solely on yourself.