Stress and the Role of Money

The American Psychological Association has ranked money as the top stressor for Americans every year since they started their survey in 2007.  64% rated money as a somewhat to significant stressor in their lives.  Studies on relationships also rank money as a top reason for stress in relationships and a leading cause for divorce. Continue reading “Stress and the Role of Money”

Would you be happier if you were more important in your job?

I just completed a nearly three-week global round-the-world trip for work, covering 4 different locations across Asia and Europe. I was able to fly business class from the US to Asia and stay in 5 star hotels.  I had local hosts that arranged transportation and very nice dinners.  It was a true VIP treatment.  Glamorous right?  Are you jealous?

But you know what, I would have been happier not going. Continue reading “Would you be happier if you were more important in your job?”

Negative Visualization – A Stoic Method of Gratitude

I found the particular method of negative visualization from Stoicism in A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy.  It’s a nice book that describes the key tenets of Stoicism well.  I found a lot of ancient wisdom here that is relevant today, much of which is being rediscovered in our current craze of happiness research.  I also think that much of Stoicism will resonate with the financial independence, retire early (FIRE) community so I recommend taking a look.

In this article I’ll delve into a specific aspect from Stoicism called negative visualization. Continue reading “Negative Visualization – A Stoic Method of Gratitude”

Buying Expensive Clothes Can Be Frugal

I thought it was time for a more light-hearted article.  We’ve been covering a lot of investing topics lately so I felt like a change of pace.

This article highlights the difference between frugal and cheap with regards to clothes purchases.  Many people mistakenly think frugal and cheap are the same thing but they are not.  Cheap is looking for the lowest cost with little consideration for anything else.  Frugal is concerned with getting the best value.  In fact, many people, including myself broaden this even more and think of being frugal as trying to get the maximum happiness for our spending.

This difference between cheap and frugal leads to some interesting contrasts.   Continue reading “Buying Expensive Clothes Can Be Frugal”

Do Happiness and Motivation Conflict or Do They Go Together?

If you look at studies on motivation (typically around work), then you find that happy and engaged workers are more motivated. Or perhaps it’s that more motivated workers are happier with their jobs. Either way, it seems happiness and motivation go together.

However, motivation implies a desire for change. It means you are not happy with something and would like to change it. Happiness, however, implies you are content and therefore no change is needed. So happiness and motivation seem to be at odds with each other. Continue reading “Do Happiness and Motivation Conflict or Do They Go Together?”