Do You Choose Money or Happiness
To Money or to Happiness – that is the question.
For most people that I know and meet, they would rate their general life happiness – how much they enjoy life – at around 60 to 80%. This is assuming they were being realistic, I do know some would would say 100%, but I have my doubts. However when ask people how they would rate their financial happiness, the answer is often closer to the 25-50% range. Consistently more than half worry more bout finances than general happiness – life, kids, work, movies, dinners out, leisure time etc.
When I see this, I often wonder why those people don’t decide to trade a little bit of that happiness for some extra finances. Swap out some of their leisure time for some sort of side hustle and you go from 70% happy 30% finance to 60% happy and 60% finance (I know they are not directly transferable/comparative – but this supposed to be illustrative, not literal).
No one wanted a side hustle if it meant their happiness would decrease.
So I thought I would actually ask some people this question. The result: many people liked the idea of a side hustle, but no one – not a single one – wanted to take up some sort of side hustle/finance improvement if it meant that their happiness would decrease! I am sure the zero is due to my unscientific sample size, but I was still expecting some people to like the idea. Colour me surprised!
When I dug a little further it seemed that giving up useless TV time, or other activities that they did not associate with happiness, was ok – it was the “required” decrease in happiness that was the deal breaker.
My Own Happiness
You may be asking why I started thinking about this in the first place. The answer is that I am currently at the cross roads: money or happiness – or possibly money AND happiness in the long term.
I am currently exploring both an overseas and an interstate job opportunity that would probably see my salary close to double, and if things go well potentially triple. The down side would be leaving all my family and friends for an unknown (but potentially more enjoyable) job.
I currently earn enough that I can easily pay the bills, and continue to save a reasonable amount. So my financial happiness is around 80% to 90% already. This position would take it into the 90% to 100% range, and potentially allow me to retire early by (or not long after) the age of 40. That is a big draw card!
Add to that the fact the work will probably (from what I know so far) be MORE enjoyable at either of the jobs, and my happiness starts to look like the “work” portion would go up… So far no down side.
The down side comes from the following:
- Having to leave all my friends
- Having to leave all my family
- Temporarily not living with my partner, or causing notable problems with their work & life, by forcing a move on them. Although for the Interstate job fly in fly out is a possibility initially.
Overall – Money or Happiness?
A small (in percentage terms), but notable improvement in financial happiness sounds good, but is it worth a decrease in life happiness (albeit with a potential increase in work happiness)?
For anyone reading this – do you have any stories or experiences that could help?
Is it worth moving from 80-90% to 90-100% finance happiness if my general life happiness went from a current 60-70% down to a guess of 40-50%?