Money can’t buy happiness, but it seems that people appear to be convinced of the relationship between money and happiness.  Prosperity allows us to shift our attention to meaning, balance and joy and not just material comforts.  Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project” researched the relationship between money and happiness and found that “money can’t buy happiness, but money helps people to experience happiness.”   For the month of July, consider doing a better job of spending money in ways that boost your happiness.  Rubin recommends reflecting on these three strategies:

1.  Indulge in a modest splurge:  Spending money may feel a little self-indulgent that should be avoided, ,but whenever possible a modest splurge can bring great joy. My July splurge will be to buy some fresh flowers every week at the Farmer’s Market — brings me great joy and allows me to savor happy memories of my mother, an avid gardener.   

2.  Buy needed things:  Rubin points out that some people are “overbuying” and others are “under-buying.”  Under-buyers delay purchases or buy as little as possible.  Over-buyer lay in huge supplies.  Figure out your tendency and focus on buying the right amount this month.  All I have to do is look in my closet and acknowledge that I tend to over buy clothes.  My goal will be to go on a clothes diet this month.

3. Give something up:  Sometimes something that makes you happy also makes you unhappy, like smoking cigarette, having one more cupcake, watching movies.  Try giving something up for a month.  This is an easy one for me — it’s cupcakes. 

For more month-by-month guidance on building a more fulfilling life, check out Rubin’s “Happiness Project,” and have more fun.