Money and Happiness #Infographic

Your Money and Your Happiness #Infographic |

One of the most popular topics on The Heavy Purse and when I’m invited to speak at public or Corporate events is money happiness. It seems so elusive or make-believe to many. Too often we spend money emotionally, which typically leaves us feeling even more emotional afterwards. Now we are filled with regret, shame and even defiance over the items we purchased as we justify the costs to ourselves and/or others. Few of us have mastered how to use our money in a way that makes us feel good.

It is possible to use your money joyfully, but it does involve a mind shift. We’ve been taught to value things, so we accumulate lots of stuff that only provides short-term happiness. We must instead become mindful of how we spend our money and not view mindfulness as punishment. Mindfulness helps you create the life you want through making value-based decisions that align with your goals, whether you’re spending money on experiences or things.

It is when our spending is out-of-alignment with our values and goals that leads to suffering. It is not telling ourselves “no” or feeling left behind. When we know what we truly want, we recognize that even when we say “no” to a temporary want, we are actually saying “yes” to creating the life we want for ourselves and family. This is an empowering and joyful act.

The Correlation Between Money and Happiness

Can money create happiness? Yes, it can — if you spend it on the right things. Happify created this great infographic highlighting the different ways we use our money and the level of joy it creates.

Your Money and Your Happiness #Inforgraphic |

It didn’t surprise me to see that experiences outrank things. Many readers regularly comment that they value experiences the most as I do as well. I find it interesting that people prefer to spend money on car payments than their home. Car manufacturers and dealerships must do a great job at making cars feel like an experience. 🙂

What surprised you the most? What experience or thing brought you the most happiness?

And don’t forget to download my latest Financially Sound Podcast on Financial Happiness and its many benefits on iTunes.


August 21, 2015  •  24 Comments  •  infographic

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  1. Friday, August 21st, 2015
    Experiences and giving, seems pretty straight forward to me and two ares I like to spend my money on. :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      It definitely validated my thinking as well, Brian. Experiences and sharing are two things we value in our home as well.
  2. Friday, August 21st, 2015
    i found it interesting that people who make more money feel more rushed.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      My guess is they feel more pressure, both real and imagined, from both work and home. To continue making money, they must always be on the go. That delicate balance of action/hustle while also enjoying life or the fruits of your labor.
  3. Friday, August 21st, 2015
    ha! I knew I'm happier as a renter who doesn't have to pay to fix things over someone who owns who does! :) Nothing about this infographic surprises me at all. I'm still trying to make 75k though. That was what I made when I worked full time and I was very content and satisfied…even in expensive LA. It's does put a wrench in the fun when you struggle to even come close to that living in an expensive city. :(
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      Living in an expensive city can definitely make fun a bit harder when you earn less. I know you'll get back up to $75k and higher again, Tonya!
  4. Friday, August 21st, 2015
    I love this infographic!! Thank you so much for sharing and YES-a shorter commute makes people happier. commute.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      I know when my commute shortened, I certainly was a lot happier too! :)
  5. Saturday, August 22nd, 2015
    I am so happy that I no longer have to commute at all. It was something I dreaded each morning. Now, I hardly drive anywhere!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      When my commute shortened, I loved how much more time I had back in my schedule. It's unbelievable how much time we spend on the road. I still have a short commute, but with two active girls, I still do quite bit of driving! :)
  6. Saturday, August 22nd, 2015
    I'm not surprised that spending on experiences makes a person happier than spending on things. What I've learned is that time is the one thing that you can never get back once it's lost. All other material things can be obtained with some effort (either a little or a lot) but the quality of the time you spend is something that has to be done right the first time. As you get older, you can always look back on that quality time and re-live it. But if you miss the opportunity to make those experiences, you'll likely regret it.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      So true, Gary. I very rarely regret money spent on experiences. They are definitely treasured memories. Thinking about how we spend our time and whom we spend our time with is so important too.
  7. Saturday, August 22nd, 2015
    The infographic looks so good that made me happy during and after reading it! I practice that "Pay First Enjoy Later."
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      Good for you, Jayson! Glad you enjoyed the info graphic. :)
  8. Monday, August 24th, 2015
    This is great, Shannon. I always hesitate to agree with the $75k mark because it doesn't consider debt. I know $75k is plenty for me if I was debt free, but with my student loan debt it's not nearly enough. That said, the inforgraphic is a good visual overall -- especially when it comes to showing how experiences make us the happiest. In my experience, that's always been true.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      Great point about the $75k with debt. So much of your money is going towards paying off debt versus spending money on experiences and even things you want.
  9. Monday, August 24th, 2015
    I love the "Treat Yourself" section, but wish it had included more about the value of time. In my own case, I prefer to spend money on what promises to free up time for me in the future. My formula is like this: save, invest, reduce debt today = work less tomorrow = more time to enjoy life experiences.

    Possessions mean nothing. As Ben Franklin said, "dost thou love Life? then do not squander Time, for that is the stuff Life is made of."
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      Love that quote from Ben Franklin. Time is definitely one of our most important commodities and something many of us are guilty of overlooking and not valuing enough.
  10. Monday, August 24th, 2015
    "Workers with long commutes are less satisfied with their jobs" is something I can definitely attest to. When I was working, my job changed office locations and it added an additional 25-30 minutes to my commute. I bet you can imagine, that that totally sucked :( And a few people quit because they didn't want to make that drive. They simply found another job closer to their homes.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      Long commutes can be so tough. Sometimes they are unavoidable but they definitely add stress to one's day and take up our valuable time!
  11. Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
    What I found interesting here was that happiness regarding experiences increased over time while happiness regarding stuff decreased. I've found this to be very true. When we've spent money to do something together as a family, we have fond memories of those things, but the happiness regarding the stuff just fades away.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, August 27th, 2015
      It's very true that our joy over the things we buy tend to fade over time. It's something we need to remember that our enthusiasm will likely wane over time for the things we buy. It doesn't mean it's wrong to buy them, but to understand that high will decreases. Whereas experiences, which typically give us long-term, happy memories, often increase in value over time. It's definitely something everyone should consider as they decide how to best utilize their money.
  12. Friday, August 28th, 2015
    thank you for sharing that infographic. I think spending money on memorable experiences would make each and every person very happy and that is why many people spend a lot on experiences. Because it is these experiences that will find resonance in our hearts and minds many years down the line. so i would not mind spending money on experiences because i know it will be worth it in the future.
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan