5 Ways To Create More Joy In Your Life
March 24, 2017 12:00 AM EST | 6 min read
Life is complicated.
Juggling work, errands, kids, family, and other responsibilities can become crazy.
It can be stressful and overwhelming.
Luckily, there are several different things that you can do to help create more joy in life – without quitting your job and moving to a remote island.
Making a few simple changes in your life can have a HUGE impact on your overall satisfaction.
5 Simple Ways on How To Create More Joy In Life
1. Start Budgeting
For most people, joy AND budgeting don’t go in the same sentence.
But budgeting is one of the best things you can do for your wallet and your happiness.
Like it or not, your finances are one of the biggest parts of your life, and having financial struggles is one of the leading causes of stress.
If you want to get a hold of your finances, it’s time to start budgeting your money.
Don’t worry; it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Thanks to the internet and your smartphone, budgeting your money has never been easier.
You can start taking control of your money in a matter of minutes.
If you don’t know where your money is going, you could waste hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars on unnecessary expenses.
There are dozens of different mobile apps that you can use that will allow you to keep track of your expenses and see where your money is going or where it’s coming from.
But a few apps tend to rise to the cream of the crop.
They will help you get the most out of your budget and create more joy in life.
One of those is Mint, which allows you to sync the app with all of your bank accounts, bills, and credit cards.
You’ll be able to check all your accounts on one screen and see all your recent transactions.
Mint will even separate your transactions into categories and show you where most of your cash is going on a chart.
2. Start Investing
Another way to create more joy in life is to start looking ahead to the future.
An excellent way to lay the foundation for a joyous future is to start investing your money.
If you’ve never dipped your feet in the investment pool, it can be a scary first step.
But there are dozens of ways that you can invest your money without being a financial guru.
The Internet has revolutionized the investment industry and how we handle our portfolios.
It’s the best time for beginners to start stashing away their money.
There are hundreds and hundreds of different websites that you can use to let your money work for you.
One of the best websites for new investors to start with is Betterment, which handles all of the investment decisions for you.
Getting started with Betterment is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do for the joy of your future self.
You can get started investing with a few simple mouse clicks.
You must decide what type of account you want to open (401k, Roth 401k, IRA), and then enter some of your personal information.
After that, you must enter your goals and risk preferences, and the website will handle everything for you.
Betterment uses Robo-advisors to allocate your money based on your goals and preferences and will continue to re-invest your money and move it as needed.
This is an excellent way to start your investment portfolio without spending hours and hours poring over stocks and confusing terms.
3. Spend Time with Friends
The older that we get, the less time that we have for our friends.
There’s less time to spend laughing with the people we love.
If you’re looking to create joy in life, it’s time that you rekindle some of those friendships.
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve seen those people, but it’s easy to change that.
We know that you’re busy trying to juggle all the other responsibilities on your plate.
But make time to go out with your friends.
If you don’t have time to go out, invite them over for dinner and a movie.
According to the Mayo Clinic, friendship has the benefit of:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness and reduce stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss, or the death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
It’s amazing what some time with your loved ones can do for your happiness.
4. Cook Simple Meals
The food you put in your body could have a HUGE impact on your satisfaction with life.
That drive-through cheeseburger probably isn’t the best option.
There is nothing wrong with grabbing fast food every once in a while.
But if you want more joy in life, cooking simple meals is a great way to put a smile on that face and maybe even shed some of the extra pounds you’ve meant to lose.
Even if you aren’t a culinary genius, there are some ways that you can cook delicious meals at home.
One of the best ways is to use a service like Hello Fresh that allows you to create an account based on how many people you cook for, and they will deliver the ingredients directly to your door with the recipes.
Making a home-cooked meal has never been easier.
Plus, you can avoid the long grocery store lines.
5. Have an Emergency Fund
You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Your car could break down.
Your water heater could break.
There are dozens of different things that could happen that would put a strain on your budget.
But one way to protect yourself is to have an emergency fund to help you be financially prepared for whatever the future throws.
Your emergency fund is a pocket of money that you set aside (preferably in a different account) that you don’t touch unless there is a legitimate emergency.
It is important (once you establish your fund) to also establish what is – and is NOT – an emergency.
This way, the money does not get touched and dwindle because of small short-term inconveniences.
This one step will relieve a ton of stress in your life.
Before you have an emergency fund, if your car breaks down, you have a car problem AND a money problem.
If your air conditioner goes out, you have an AC and a money problem.
Once your emergency fund is in place, if your car breaks down, you just get it fixed.
The same thing goes for the air conditioner or any other emergency.
Creating More Joy
Life is complicated, but there are several ways that you can create more joy in life.
Taking control of your finances AND making time for friends are great ways to do this.
Don’t let your life go by just to realize that you would have done things differently.