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Money can buy you a house but cannot buy a home, can buy you luxuries, but not happiness, can buy you a bed but not sleep… there are hundreds of quotes that mean the same. But who have made these quotes. How many of them have made these quotes when they had no money? Most of the people who own these quotes are rich or probably did not have it easy but have money now.

This makes me think for the majority of the population. Can having no money take our happiness away. Hell, yes. What having no money can mean for most of the world’s population.

In extreme cases where one is born poor or loses everything due to whatever reason, money for survival brings the most happiness. Impact of lack of money can mean;

  • Pressure on Child Labor and giving up the basic right for education
  • Death due to lack of money for medical facilities
  • That relationship you want to get out of
  • Missing basic necessities of feeding oneself and family

In interim cases where one loses a job or graduates not able to find a job and continue remaining dependent, the standard of living takes a big toll. Unless we have saved enough, multiple commitments and expenses without an income can be a killer and may give rise to the following situations;

  • Multiple sacrifices –  you cannot purchase the same grocery products you have been used to. Imagine our children missing out on that hot chocolate or coffee.
  • One’s child suddenly forced to give up on a promised & confirmed education, having worked hard for those many years to get into that university/ country. Heartbreaking.
  • Compromising for cheaper alternatives and lower quality products.
  • Frustration due to a limited number of jobs for graduates with no experience. A chicken and egg problem – if only there is an opportunity to gain experience, unknown future.
  • In bad market conditions or an employer’s market, professionals are hired for a graduate’s salary. What is driving experienced professionals to work for a graduate salary – it is the lack of money.
  • A depressing environment along with personal depression, at times loss of so-called friends.
  • A sudden change in lifestyle and being looked down upon, implied authority taken by a few to look down upon you.

All of the above are bound to take our happiness away, and the one common factor that is responsible is losing income.

From a millennials’ viewpoint;

  • The university you dreamed of and cannot now attend due to the sudden job loss of your parents or giving up on an education that you have already started.
  • Cannot pursue a career of your choice due to not having the luxury of time to wait for that job in the field of your choice. End up doing a job that brings unhappiness.
  • Lack of money may force you to move out of the location you grew up in and part ways with friends

Reaching financial independence is more or less unachievable for many, since our wants usually go up with the increase in income – we may want a better car, more expensive branded bag/shoes, a bigger, more luxurious house, shifting from a regular sofa to a recliner, upgrading from regular chocolate to luxury chocolate…. Be careful, do not get into this trap and rat race called hedonic treadmill where you think a little more money can make you happy, but when you get more money, there is something else we want to get.

We will fall into a bigger trap addressed as ‘interim cases’ above if our increased wealth brings increased demands and an unfortunate event of losing a job can get our and our families lives to a standstill forcing a need to sell what you have thereby losing the value of your money. Key is to save early on in life and not fall into the trap of hedonic treadmill.

A home with no money or limited money is almost like a home in moaning. Money is needed at every step of our lives, to eat, to cover ourselves, shelter, basic privileges, and comforts etc. Although wealth is not linked to happiness for the rich, in my view, it is highly linked to unhappiness for the ones who do not have it.

If you speak to children of wealthy parents, you may hear them getting frustrated when speaking of anything linked to money – perhaps not appreciating what they have in terms of exposure, visibility, education, that internship, luxuries, lifestyle etc.  What they would remember is not having enough family time because their parents were busy making money thereby not having time for themselves or their families or vacations.

People with money may not have the time to spend the money they have but know at the back of their mind that they can buy all things money can buy. They may have the option of stepping down from high flying positions and settle for less rather than get stuck in prison without walls thereby improving family bonding and personal happiness – this happiness is not dependent on having more money but just knowing what is enough.

Death in families, irrecoverable illnesses, losing a loved one, being betrayed or cheated, discontent with life, unhappy family, finding real friends – Money cannot buy any of these irrespective of one’s financial position, and these concerns can happen to anyone, rich or poor. Of course, when a wealthy person faces this, it is easy to say money can’t buy happiness, but a poor man has no choice, he has many bigger problems impacting his happiness that lack of money is responsible for. To conclude, there is no real relationship between happiness and money for the rich, but money is critical for most, where money can bring a lot of happiness.

Finally, for those who say money does not bring happiness, they may want to transfer that money to those whose happiness is just taken away due to the lack of it.

By Clementine D’Souza, my dearest mom

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Going through the break-up of your marriage can be a difficult and upsetting process, but once your divorce is finalized, you may feel at a loss for what to do next. Whether you had a long or short marriage, you are likely to be used to making decisions together.

But now that you are divorced, you will be making decisions by yourself, for yourself. So, here is the ultimate guide on how to become an independent woman after a divorce.

Reevaluate your long-term goals

During your marriage you may have considered your spouse in all your future plans, but now that they are no longer in your life, you should re-evaluate what you want. You should consider first what you want to achieve in the next 12 months and then make a five-year plan. You may have had your own dreams that you put on the back burner because of your dedication to your partner, but now the sky is the limit. You are now an independent woman who can do what she wants when she wants!

Have a clear-out

Throughout a marriage, you can acquire a lot of joint items, some of which you may have shared during the divorce. But many of the items you are left with may remind you of your ex and you may want to replace them. Moving on from the past and concentrating on the future is one of the first steps on the path to becoming an independent woman. You may have acquired gifts and jewelry from your partner during your marriage that is painful to look at, so you might be thinking about finding a place to sell your ring. Selling a ring may provide you with some closure, as well as help you make feel more independent.

Learn to enjoy time alone

When you are married, you spend most of your time with your significant other. But this all changes once you are divorced and you may find that you spend a lot of time on your own. However, to become an independent woman, post-divorce, you need to learn to enjoy the time you spend by yourself. Coming home at the end of a long day to your own place where you can eat or watch whatever you like, without having to consider someone else, can be a great feeling. Embrace your new-found freedom and use it to develop your independence.

Make your own choices

You may have previously found yourself not making many decisions for yourself during your marriage. Small decisions such as what to have for dinner, to much bigger decisions such as where to live, may have all been made for you. So, spend some time thinking about what you really want.

Look at your finances

Usually, within a marriage, a couple’s finances are tied together through mortgages and investments, so it can get complicated when you are getting a divorce. But to become an independent woman, it is important that you have a look at your personal finances and consider any financial problems you may face now that you are divorced. Looking at what money you have can sometimes be a daunting thing to do, but if you are going to be independent then you will need to be financially independent as well.

Going through a divorce can be a very difficult period of your life, but it is also a chance for a fresh start and it offers the opportunity for you to revamp yourself into the strong independent woman who you have always dreamed of being!

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