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Money Can Buy Happiness

Page history last edited by Chris Yeh 15 years, 11 months ago

Exercise 1: The Cost of Living

Time required: 2 minutes


1. I earn a living by ________; I consider my job to be _______________.

2. My dream job or career would be _______________.

3. My home is _______ and a realtor would describe the location as _______ and ___________________.

4. After work, I usually _____________ and ___________________.

5. On the weekend I typically ____________ and ____________.

6. The top three things I spend money on are ____________.

7. I'd describe my friends as _____________; when we see each other we usually ___________.

8. My family is ______ and I sometimes wish I could _______________.

9. The main things that keep me up at night are _____________.

10. The three areas where my time is most committed are ________, ________, and __________.

11. My spiritual life consists of ______ and I feel __________ about that.

12. Sometimes I feel like my life is missing ________.

13. When I have a free hour or two, I usually ____ or _____________.

14. My last vacation was _____ and it was ______________.

15. If I could change three things about my life, they would be ________, ________, and _________.


  • What surprised you about some of the answers you gave?
  • Did you notice any discrepancies between where your resources go and what you find most satisfying in life?
  • What are some of the ways that you're using your money, time, or energy that yield the biggest payoff in terms of your own happiness?
  • What are some of the ways you're using your money, time, or energy for paltry gains?
  • If you could change one thing this week, maybe even today, that might be a better investment in your own happiness, what would it be?


Exercise 2: Do You Know Where Your Money Is?

Time required: 6 minutes


1. (1 minute) Make a list of things that make you happy. Don't take it too seriously. This should be fun.


2. (2 minutes) Without thinking too hard, write down whatever you can remember about how you spent your money in the last couple of weeks. If you're looking for receipts in your wallet, you're taking this too seriously.


3. No, reread the happiness list and put a dollar sign ($) next to the things that cost money.


4. Next, read over list #2 and note whether any of your expenditures also made you happy, for example, going to the movies.


5. In the graph below, you'll see two bars. Let each one represent your net income for the past month. Next to the bar on the left, draw another bar that represents the rough portion of your monthly income that went towards the expenses from list #2.


6. Next to the income bar on the right, draw a bar that represents the portion of your income this past month that went towards things that make you happy.

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