How Much Does Happiness Cost?

June 4, 2019

How much does happiness cost? Enter the simple “10 things exercise”. Take 5 minutes and try it today!

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Have you ever asked yourself "How much does happiness cost?". What if it's as simple as sitting down and writing a list?  Enter the simple “10 things exercise”. Take 5 minutes and try it today!
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I’ve been reading a fascinating book this week called “Playing with FIRE ” by Scott Rieckens. In it, Scott and his wife search for a new way of living that’s more in line with what they deem actually important in life. They start off spending over $10,000 a month living a lavish lifestyle that provides everything they thought they wanted. However, they’re miserable. So how much does happiness cost?

Playing with FIRE
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Amazon: Playing with FIRE is worth a read!

How much does happiness cost?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Do you know the answer?

Socrates states that the secret to happiness is found not in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to be happy with less. Maybe you already have enough to be happy?

In the book, Scott develops “The Ten Things Exercise” to try to convince his wife to change lifestyles, and to determine what really matters to them. As he states “the lists worked because they forced us to face an uncomfortable reality: Our spending wasn’t reflecting our values”.

What you spend yours weeks doing is really what you'll spend your life doing. Isn't it worth taking 5 minutes to determine whether you're spending your time correctly?
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The Ten Things Exercise is very simple, but provides an eye-opening look at yourself. It took me about 5 minute to determine my list. All you need to do is make a list of the 10 things you enjoy doing most on a weekly basis. I’ll share mine, but I suggest you write yours first. Be honest with yourself: what are your favorite parts of your week? What do you enjoy doing? When do you feel happy?

My List:

  1. Lazy coffee mornings
  2. Walking my dog (especially with friends)
  3. Climbing with Sylvie
  4. Cooking dinner with my guy and unwinding together
  5. Reading
  6. Writing my blog
  7. Baking cookies
  8. Sunbeam naps
  9. Socializing with friends
  10. Anything outside (bonus points if it’s in the mountains)
how much does it cost to be happy
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Yesterday I went on an early morning hike (that’s me in the picture!). Coffee in the mountains with my man and my dog? So many happiness points.

It’s fascinating when you analyze your list. Is there anything on there that surprises you?? How often do you make time for the things you wrote down? How many activities/items are free?

So, how much does happiness cost? Likely not a lot. Your list will show you. However it does require understanding what your values and priorities are, and actually making time (and money) for those things.

People often spend large amounts of money on expensive items and experiences, yet they get the most happiness from basic (and free/cheap) things: social connections, time to relax, physical activity, good food.

Sometimes the simple answers are the best ones. You were drawn to this article for a reason. Your life may already be pretty awesome, but something made you click on the topic heading. Understanding what makes you happy can only make life better. Take the 5 minutes and write your list. Don’t complicate something that doesn’t need to be complicated.

What makes you happy? I’d love to read your list in the comments below!

The "10 things exercise" is so simple but eye-opening! Do you spend your time and money doing things that make you happy?
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For a list of all articles I’ve written (binge-reading time!) click here

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  1. […] also wrote a full article about this, and shared my list of […]

  2. […] do? You get one life. Design it by your own rules for maximum happiness. I always suggest doing the Ten Things Exercise to figure out what actually makes you happy. Determine your list, compare to your current life, and […]

  3. […] I think it’s valuable to get to know yourself and what makes you happy. […]

  4. […] fully believe the principles I discuss on this blog (deciding what’s most important to you, finding cheaper ways to happiness, challenging societal norms) apply to ALL income levels. It’s important to me that my readers […]

  5. […] that make me happy such as getting outside, cooking, and socializing. [I wrote an entire post on how much it costs to be happy and would suggest giving it a […]

  6. […] your “10 things exercise” and determine what really makes you happy. Take note of the ones that are free; do those a […]

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