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May 3rd, 2011 at 05:39 pm


I was maybe overly cautious to work the past weekend. The 5/15 deadlines are flying off my desk (I think I will be done tomorrow, by noon).

BUT, I am so glad I Worked on the weekend, because I had forgotten I needed to take several hours off this week for personal appointments. So, it all works out. I don't have to make up any time for sitting in the Doctor office a good chunk of Monday. Friday the Kindergarteners are putting on a show for the moms (& we get muffins). How cute.

Next week I will probably be wondering what I am going to do all summer (at work). Can't win - feast or famine. I suppose vacation takes up a lot of the down time. Woohoo!


Some interesting articles this week:

Is Home Ownership Over Rated?


Just some interesting points.

BTW, I primarily value home ownership for stability. Financially, I think it makes more sense in our case. But only time will tell. The friend I met for lunch today apparently moved 2 times since I last talked to her. Egads!! In California, landlords sell in good times and foreclose in bad times. All my renting friends seem to move on average once per year. I thought they moved a lot in good times, but foreclosing landlords are a whole other thing (& terribly common!). A couple of my friends have lucked out in one place for a few years, but then they just got overly upset when the landlords sold their homes. Oy vey - people get attached to their homes!

Apartment renting may be more stable, but in this day and age, who rents an apartment? Wink Not anyone I know...


8 Ways to Buy More Happiness


Of note:

"One problem with material possessions, again, is that buyers are too quick to adapt to them. A solution is to focus on many small items rather than one big one. The same can be said of experiences. Studies show that the frequency of pleasure is more closely related to happiness than the intensity. Buy the mini muffin. Golf nine holes. Take a day trip."


I cringe how often I see those "Experiences trump possessions" studies cited as an excuse to go on an exotic vacation. Like that's the only way to find happiness.

I was having a conversation with dh about this the other day, actually. I think we prefer to buy things that give us many years of experiences (i.e. TVs for dh, or bikes/books, for me). Neither of us has ever much liked the idea of spending a lot of money for a fleeting experience like a vacation. Anyway, dh simply told me, "My memory isn't that good." LOL. We just don't get joy from big/expensive experiences. Nor big/expensive THINGS. We may focus too much on "OMG - that cost a TON." But that's how we are wired.

So anyway, I smiled to see it acknowledged that experiences are much the same way. They don't have to cost a ton or be over the top to be enjoyable. I knew that, but few seem to understand that. Give me time with my friends and family any day - priceless to both of us.

This is also why I had absolutely no interest in a no-spend challenge. I don't have a lot of big/expensive joys in my life, but as long as I Can afford the small ones, I am keeping them. They make me happy. Big Grin

I liked this one too:

Consumers who buy right away on credit rob themselves of a free source of enjoyment: anticipation. People are prone to a decision error called future anhedonia, or the belief that a pleasure delayed won't be as intense as one experienced in the present. The opposite, if anything, is true. Delayed pleasures are just as intense, and consumers accrue additional pleasure by looking forward to them. Think of it as "compound happiness" interest."

In our culture, saving up for a purchase is viewed on as depravity. I think we enjoy our purchases more because we anticipate. & while anticipating, we decide there's a lot we don't really need or want after all. Thus, we spend less money on stuff that is unimportant to us. Most the stuff we end up buying we enjoy for a long time. I've generally never enjoyed stuff near as much if I just bought it on a whim.

Anyway, it was a really interesting article overall.

2 Responses to “Articles”

  1. frugalgirl Says:

    I find that there is a balance between enjoying little things and getting pleasure out of experiences.

    I find my family enjoys the little things in life because we live frugally so a treat - no matter how small - is a real treat. My son bought himself a soda today with his own money. (Since we are living in city in a foreign country, we have given the kids a small weekly allowance to spend on whatever they choose). I told him I was surprised that he bought it because it was rather expensive and he said simply "Mommy, it was soo worth it". It was a simple pleasure for him. He thought carefully about the purchase and decided he wanted that little pleasure for himself. He planned out his spending for the week and is saving the rest of his weekly money to buy a birthday gift for his brother. I was surprised and pleased by that purchase!

    We are living temporarily in Europe right now on my husband's regular college professor salary. He is on sabbatical for one semester and is doing research at a university here. We are living off his regular salary while paying our mortgage back home and paying rent here. We decided that this experience for our kids was worth pinching pennies for. I think it quite good to have this experience for them which will last a lifetime and significantly impact how they see the world - at least it will for my 12 year old. I am not sure how it is affecting my soda-buying 9 year old. The children are attending an international school where they have met friends from all over the world. This experience is worth the money.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    @frugalgirl - Now that's an experience!

    For reference, I recently blogged about a friend who flew off to Europe spontaneously, for the weekend. This is a Friday on an airplaine, a Saturday adventure in Spain (I think?), and a Sunday on an airplaine. I noticed a lot of FB comments about how people were so jealous and wished they could afford it. I know the guy is broke. I can't imagine spending most the weekend on an airplane is very life changing. Wink

    Just to say I think there is something so night and day between that and your experience. If you are going to do something like go to a foreign country - do it right. Actually stay there a while and EXPERIENCE it. I think that's the type of experience I could invest in.

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