Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happiness and Money

It has been a few months of sparse blogging but I have been learning so much! I realized the other day that I might retain more if I write about what I'm learning. So, we're starting right in the middle of "The Happiness Project", a fantastic book by Gretchin Rubin. I learned two very insightful principles on people's relationship with money, especially how they spend it.

First, people are generally either "underbuyers" or "overbuyers".

I am an underbuyer. I buy what is necessary for right now, and talk myself out of purchases for things like food storage thinking, "well, that can wait until next week". I have myself believing that I save money that way, even if I end up making more trips. Also, I often try to find the cheapest deal, which is usually comes back to bite.
Overbuyers, on the otherhand, have extras and replacements and backups of everything, knowing that one day they'll need that thing. They buy many things leading up to vacations or parties, they buy things thinking they would be a gift, though not sure who for.
Underbuyers are often stressed because they don't have something they need (aka, run out of toilet paper, lol). Overbuyers are often stressed because they have clutter or can't find that gift item they bought a few months ago.
So what's the fix? I'll try and focus on what I actually use, and keep it in stock!

Second, there are satisficers and maximizers.

(Yes, satisficer. A mix of satisfy and suffice). Satisficers look for what they want until their criteria have been met. When they find that thing, the hunt is over. Even if they may have found a better deal or price or brand or ... at some other store. Maximizers compare every possible option before making a purchase.
When I think of maximizers, or worse, have to go along with one to the store, my mind screams 'What a waste of time!' Yet I realized that even I am a maximizer at times, just for fun. For example, which flavor of ice-cream do I want? Well, I can be at the store or ice-cream parlor for an awfully long time before making my choice, and the time involved is fun to me! Looking at all those yummy choices and imagining how delicious each would be, and then, there are the combination cones to think about! Yes, I am, at times, a maximizer. HOWEVER, I realized when reading this book that maximizers bug me, and maybe I should just lay off.

(Check out the book or her blog! www.happiness-project.com)

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