Friday, June 28, 2013

Happiness...Rent & Recycle it

This is the final post in a series on happiness, based on the research covered in Sonja Lyubomirsky's book, The Myths of Happiness.  Click here to read the previous posts on Happiness and ThriftDebt, Experiences, and Small Pleasures.

Happy Friday!  Today wraps up the series on happiness with two topics: recycling happiness and renting it.  These were my favorite suggestions from Lyubomirsky's section on thrift, mainly because they challenge the way I typically do things.  Take recycling: if I look around my house, I see a lot of books I've read one time (or none), things that were gifted to me but were never used, and boxes of unknown old stuff that sits around in the garage.  A lot of these are one use items.  But even with too much stuff in my life, much of it unused, I keep buying more of it.  Instead of acquiring new things, wouldn't it be better to go through the things I already own and rediscover them?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Thirty Things Lighter Update

Last month I set a goal for myself to become thirty things lighter over thirty days.  While I definitely have more than thirty (or even three hundred) things I could easily do without, I chose a smaller number so I could establish a healthy monthly habit of reducing items that I could maintain going forward.  So here's a list of my former possessions:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pulling the Debt Free Trigger

After months of hemming and hawing, we've decided to pay off our mortgage and to be, for the first time in years, completely debt free.  We're both pretty excited about the possibility. (Though my wife is keeping a level head about the whole thing, while I spent today walking around the house smiling and half-dancing and occasionally making up little songs about paying off the house.  Dah-dah-dah-dah, gonna pay off our house...yah-tat-tat-tah, gonna own that house!  That's not weird, right?)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Buy No Thing Month Update

Just a quick update today: I've reached the end of my buy-no-thing month and wanted to report back.  I basically failed the simple goal of buying no tangible thing, but only experiences.  I broke down and bought myself a Platypus bladder for my upcoming hiking trip, and I bought my wife a pair of Brooks running shoes since she hit her six-mile running goal, and that was the stated reward.  I told myself the reason for the purchase was because REI was having a sale, but the purchases could have waited a couple weeks and I'd only have paid slightly more.  And, at least for us, these weren't small trinket purchases that might be explained away.  For us, these are really nice things that shouldn't have been purchased during this particular month.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happiness and Many Small Pleasures

This is the fourth in a series on happiness, based on the research covered in Sonja Lyubomirsky's book, The Myths of Happiness.  Click here to read the previous posts on Happiness and Thrift, Debt, and Experiences.

Would you rather have one big international vacation, or four domestic three-day-weekend getaways?  I asked this to my wife and my housemate yesterday, and neither of them hesitated: they wanted the big international vacation.  I do, too.  Quality over quantity, right?  But this urge to have larger, fancier, but less frequent pleasures isn't optimizing our happiness: it's doing the exact opposite.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thirty Things Lighter

My "Buy No Thing" month is going pretty well so far, with a couple exceptions: an anniversary gift for my wife and a bladder for my Appalachian Trail section hike.  Still, I didn't really adhere to the rules since, hey, I bought some stuff.  To make up for my poor purchasing behavior, and also just to give myself another challenge, I decided today to take action on an idea that I've been pondering for a while.  By July 5th, thirty days from now, I will be thirty things lighter than I am today: one thing per day.