37. It’s true money can’t buy you love, but $100 or less can buy you happiness.

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This thought came to me as I recently left Urban Outfitters with an item that I knew would give me immeasurabledreamstime_s_2512924 pleasure – a portable record player. When I saw it in the window, it called to me with its bright orange case and light tan handle. Plus, it played albums and 45s. But, I didn’t know how much it cost. All I could think was, please, don’t let it be more than $100. I nervously waited in line, hoping this precious possession would soon be mine. When I got to the register I knew one way or another, it was now or never. I asked the clerk, “How much?” She gave me the answer I was looking for: “$99.” I practically skipped out of the store. When I got home, I grabbed some 45s and was delighted to hear a sound I hadn’t heard in years – the needle scratching against the vinyl. And that’s when I started to think about happiness and how little money it takes to truly make one’s self or others happy. Another recent example is New Year’s Eve. I remember in my 20s we’d go out and blow way more than $100 for what usually turned out be an evening that was worth way less. New Year’s Day was even better because there was the requisite hangover, worn like a badge of honor. This year, I stayed home, broke out a bottle of champagne and had a new neighbor over for some frozen appetizers. Cost: about $30. And we had a great time, sipping and nibbling while watching the ball go down in NYC at 9 p.m. And then there’s one thing I’ve been wanting for years and finally went to amazon.com to buy – a chess set. Cost: $29. Happiness quotient when I receive it: Priceless. Wait, that’s the MasterCard commercial. So take a moment and think about how you can make yourself or someone you love happy. Big expensive stuff is great, if you can afford it, but what do you really need?

Word to the wise: Bling isn’t always the thing. Achieving happiness is. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but $30 in your pocket could be everyone’s. Spend wisely and you’ll never have to worry about buyer’s remorse.

Can you think of anything you bought or did for $100 that made you happy? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

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About Eva Finn

Eva Finn is an award-winning marketing copywriter, advertising instructor and life expert. She started the blog, Wise Before 25 so young women can avoid making the same mistakes she did. This blog will become a book of the same title, which will include contributions from readers. She was also published in a book about the subject of hair– the good, bad and the ugly – called, fittingly enough, Hair Pieces, by the Cary Tennis Workshop. As a copywriter for more than 20 years, she has written ads, brochures, direct mail, radio and television for clients that included In-N-Out Burger, Bank of America, Toyota and Ingram Micro. Eva has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education. She has taught advertising classes at The Art Institute of California-Orange County and California State University, Fullerton. And she has had plenty of hard knocks from the school of life.

6 responses »

  1. Yes, I totally agree, spending not more than you can afford on something you really, really want and will use is such a pleasure, (and if you get a deal on it, even better, at least in my book). But, I’ve seen a lot of folks stuck in a mode of acquisition for it’s own sake; having the thing and enjoying it is way less the point than the GETTING of it. Great for the economy, perhaps, and on the surface no harm done, but dig a little deeper and you may find harm not only to the psyche, but to the environment as well. To have and enjoy is a wonderful thing – I highly recommend it; but if the only enjoyment is the getting of ever more STUFF, perhaps the next acquisition should be some high quality therapy time ;). For a bit of perspective on the culture and results of acquisition, check out the “Story of Stuff,” I thought it was great. And in the meantime, enjoy those vinyls you haven’t heard in years – what a happy-making thing 🙂

    • Thanks for your insightful comments. I couldn’t agree more – especially about therapy 🙂 And yes, while I’m enjoying the vinyls, I also enjoyed my chess set, which I received yesterday. I played with myself (ha ha). It was great! Thanks for your support and keep those thoughts coming.

  2. Roadtrip to go camping. Gas money might seem like a waste, but actually it takes you places. I spend a good chunk of money on travel, and the pictures I take let me re-live those experiences forever

    • They say that experiences are worth more than things. I tend to agree with that. So what you say makes perfect sense. Although my record player and my chess set are making me very happy – but that gets back to experience. These “things” allow me to create experiences. Thanks for your insight 🙂

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