Money and Happiness | “Why am I losing myself?”

Money and Happiness |  "Why am I losing myself?"

In the newsletter Money and happiness, sent by email on Tuesday, our journalist Nicolas Bérubé offers reflections on saturation, the psychology of investors, making financial decisions. His speeches are repeated here on Sundays.

Published at 7:00 am.

Nicholas Berube

Nicholas Berube

So how will the election of a new government affect your finances?

Well, this is a tricky question. The truth is that our finances should never depend on things that are unpredictable and beyond our control, as a sign of the next government.

Do you want the key to becoming rich? A rule that has worked for thousands of years and has nothing to do with the mindset of François Legault?

Come closer, I say, but don’t say it again.

The trick to getting rich is to spend less money than you earn.

Whether we’re on minimum wage or the CEO of Bombardier, our job is the same: to protect the dollars in our pockets.

I hear people from here say, “Yes, you have to save to get rich, but saving is not good. We only have one life to live. Why am I losing myself? »

This argument boils down to a fundamental and least discussed fact: the importance of distinguishing between cost and pleasure.

Everything in our society, from advertising to the eyes of those around us, associates spending with happiness. These two concepts are now intertwined and inseparable from each other.

But, this association did not hold water. Do the exercise: Ask someone around you to write down on a piece of paper ten moments or activities in life that bring them the most joy.

People who make time to do this usually write things like: “spending time with my kids”, “walking in the woods” or “having an evening laugh with friends”.

Intuitively, we all know that the activities that bring us the most joy are not the most expensive. I’d be surprised (even worried) if someone put “stroke my smartwatch” or “wash my new van” on their list.

I experienced it recently during a nice family day when I went to watch my son play football in a nearby neighborhood before going for a swim at the municipal swimming pool. We biked along a quiet trail I found through Google Maps.

On our way back, we passed an amazing movie set. Also, we saw a street play and got to meet some friends there.

At home, since it was late and everyone was hungry, we made pasta with pesto – pesto made from basil weeded over the summer in our vegetable patch.

In my mind, this beautiful sunny day, full of laughter, discoveries and discussions with the people I love, is priceless. In fact, it cost us no more than a few dollars.

Did I “lose” myself that day? Instead of using our bikes, we could have driven a state-of-the-art 2023 SUV with financing for over 96 months. For dinner, we could have ordered from the restaurant, and the $75 minimum bill for the meal would soon be forgotten.

It wouldn’t have made me happy, but it certainly would have made me poorer. The very next day, I realized that my credit card balance had been exceeded. Still.

Am I still spending a few dollars a day? Of course not. But such days are a reminder that happiness cannot be bought.

We only have one life to live. Why should we lose ourselves?

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