Table of Contents
Money Can Buy Happiness
by James Lange, CPA/Attorney
“There is a puritanical streak that runs through all aspects of money in America…And most of the conversations start with no.” —Ramit Sethi
Fortunately, for most of my readers, money does buy happiness in that it protects from hardship. Being able to count on access to good medical care, a general sense of wellbeing, a cadre of good friends and family, shelter, and food goes a long way to fostering happiness—and reducing stress. But if we are in the position to be able to afford more, can we be happier spending more?
I am not advocating for spending carelessly. But, when the resources are there, are there ways to make your money “work for you” outside the investment realm?
The authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton published a book called Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. They espouse five principles for ways to spend money to increase your happiness.
- Buy experiences. (I would add—buy things that allow you to do what you want to do. For example, my e-bikes allow me to significantly enhance my bicycling experience and that makes me happy.)
- Make it a treat. Don’t indulge in your favorite ice cream every day—it stops being a treat.
- Buy time. Pay people to do what you don’t like doing. Or don’t buy the cheapest airline ticket if it results in an endless layover where you don’t want to be.
- Pay now, consume later. That paid-for vacation seems “free” by the time you take it.
- Invest in others.
Perhaps what gives them additional credibility is that they are both full professors at the University of British Columbia and Harvard, respectively. They are respected researchers and authors, and some would say their recommendations are “backed by science.” A simple Google search about “spending money and happiness” leads to countless other sources of inspiration but they pretty much have the bases covered. As peer-reviewed authors, I would say those five criteria, make a pretty good start.
How to Combine Great Coffee and Convenience
by James Lange, CPA/Attorney
I recently made a discovery that combines my impatience with my preference for great coffee.
Ever since the Keurig, the automatic and simple to use coffee maker came out, I use it to make myself one cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning.
It is pretty easy. I put the “K-cup” in the machine and press a few buttons and leave an empty cup which the machine then fills with hot mediocre-tasting coffee. I have tried different organic brands and flavors, but they are all basically mediocre.
For a short period, I didn’t have access to a Keurig and ground fresh beans and put them in a drip coffee maker. The coffee was much better. But it was a pain and took a lot more time to make a cup of coffee than I liked.
My assistant, Patrice, recommended I combine the best of both worlds. He recommended I buy my own reusable K-cups, grind fresh coffee beans, and fill the empty K-cups with the ground coffee beans. I used these reusable K-cups, https://paytaxeslater.com/kcups, but I am sure there are other brands out there.
You can grind enough coffee for say a month (I use organic French Roast and Kona beans) and fill the empty K-cups, put the lid on that seals the coffee, and store them in the fridge. Then, instead of using a store-bought K-cup, you can use the one that you made.
The coffee tastes much better than the store-bought K-cups. Yes, you must grind it and fill the cups once a month, but it is well worth it.
If I haven’t bored you to tears so far, let me proceed with additional details to what I add to my coffee.
I follow the Bulletproof Guru, Dave Asprey. I regard him as I regard Joe Mercola. They both have a lot of medical wisdom and advice, some of which I follow. But they are both capitalists and both would have you take a bunch of proprietary supplements from which they will benefit financially. It wouldn’t bother me if they were truly superior supplements that cost more, but I am not convinced they are.
Anyway, Dave Asprey has consistently recommended you start your day with a cup of his special coffee. He recommends putting ghee (clarified butter) into the coffee. I tried that but my intolerance to dairy soon forced me to stop the ghee idea. He also recommends adding some of his special formulation of “brain octane fuel” to the coffee. Of course, he also recommended his particular brand of coffee (which he claims has no mold like other coffee).
As far as I can tell, his coffee is no better than good organic fresh coffee beans or even pre-ground coffee you buy at the store. As far as I can tell, brain octane fuel is overpriced nonorganic MCT oil. I do like the science behind the MCT oil in coffee, but I use an organic brand called Garden of Life that I do add to my coffee.
In addition, because I haven’t learned to drink it without any sweetener, I do add some Stevia. I don’t add any milk or cream, but that is probably due to my dairy sensitivity.
Anyway, after writing this article I will break my one cup of coffee per day and go make myself another cup.
Enjoy your coffee!
Lange Employee Spotlight: Bryan Tann
Bryan Tann is Digital Marketing Production Assistant for Lange Financial Group since August 2017. He is one of our behind-the-scenes marketing professionals who greatly contributes to our social media, digital, and video outreach. He is also extremely helpful with our webinars.
Bryan has made an amazing transformation from August 2019 to the present. He changed his lifestyle to include eating gluten and dairy-free, tracking caloric intake, and working out daily using DDP Yoga.
Bryan has lost 172 lbs. to date! We are very proud of Bryan’s accomplishments and his commitment to health and wellness.