Happiness Online July Recap – Buy Some Happiness

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Rebecca over at Weight Wars (who I find very inspirational, BTW – I have no idea how she manages to organize these fabulous challenges and projects!) has launched a year long project called Happiness Online, based on Gretchen Ruben’s book The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. (In the interest of full disclosure, this is an Amazon affiliate link).

The whole purpose of this project is to focus on improving our own happiness with our lives. I read the book, and although I found some of the ideas a little too zen for me, the fact is, I have found that my own happiness directly relates to staying on track with my weight loss/maintenance, my fitness… everything! Every month we will set resolutions around a theme (hey, monthly goals – no wonder I want to do this!) and work towards those goals.

July was all about money. While money can’t buy happiness, research proves that having money makes you happier than NOT having money. Gretchen set her focus on four items: indulge in a modest splurge, buying mindfully, spending out, and giving something up. Me? I set a few different priorities for this month. How did I do?

1. Fix the Family Budget

We have a budget, we’ve had one for years, but we consistently overspend in a couple of categories, which then either eats up our savings or leads to shortages in other categories. Bruce & I revisited the budget just the other night, and for the first time actually agreed to trim in a couple of areas to allow us to spend more on items that are important to us. So far, this seems to be working.

2. Reduce Clutter

We’ve actually done really well on this front for a couple of years now, but we still have some stuff lying around taking up room for no reason. How does this relate to money? Some of it is worth selling! So that’s my task for this month. Sell or donate the items in the garage. FAIL. I didn’t get any of this done this month.

3. Hit our next Debt Payment milestone

I’m not sure if we can hit it in July, or in August, but I’m aiming for July. FAIL. My son’s dental surgery plus our trip to Wisconsin meant we spent more than I planned. Debt milestone is pushed back to September.

4. Enjoy the Money I Do Spend

I just bought a concert ticket to my first concert of 2012 (Slash! So excited.) I normally go to at least one concert a year, I love live music, but haven’t wanted to spend the money. I also want one piece of Ironman branded clothing after I finish the Racine Half – so I’m going to enjoy the money I spend. 🙂 SUCCESS!! I loved the Slash concert, and bought a new triathlon kit and Ironman branded hat, which I love.

So this month was spotty at best. These goals, however, are still a work in progress. I’ll keep working on them over the coming months.

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