It isn't talked about often enough, but the best things in life can't be purchased. Yet, sometimes in our pursuit to make more money we forget to enjoy life by doing the things that light up our souls.
Here you'll find a list of good things in life that money can't buy, plus ideas for balancing finances with other aspects of your life.
Why it’s important to find balance in the pursuit of financial wellness
A common mistake when pursuing financial freedom is waiting for the money to make us happy. We think once we get a raise we’ll be satisfied. Or when we make six figures we can travel. But waiting on these things can make us feel less content.
The issue with money and happiness
The problem is when we do become financially secure we often feel unsatisfied. We feel like something is missing. That something is our happiness.
If we keep thinking that the amount of money will make us happy, we will continue to chase larger and larger amounts. Yet it’s not the amount of money that makes us happy but how money helps enhance our lives.
When we make a balance between the best things in life and the pursuit of money, we create the life we want, not a life we settled for.
Here are some things to keep in mind to help with the balance of financial wellness and having a great life.
Have hobbies and interests outside of work
We must have interests and hobbies that take our minds off of work. Things we do for pure enjoyment such as rollerskating, hiking, or baking. Hobbies can relieve our stress and help us return to work feeling refreshed.
Spend money on things you enjoy
When we’re focused on paying off debt or wanting to make a large future purchase it’s logical to put all of our money towards necessities.
However, it’s ok if we treat ourselves as well. Spending money on buying yourself flowers and seeing a movie once a month isn’t going to break the bank.
Money is meant to not only help us live but help us enjoy the best things in life.
Focus on saving money
Having an emergency fund or a backup plan can make life easier in the long run. When we start to put a little bit of money aside monthly we can build financial security over time and have less stress in the future.
And having less stress is definitely one of the things in life that makes you feel good about yourself.
11 best things in life that are free
Here is a list of good things in life to help keep you balanced in your pursuit of financial freedom.
1. Time spent with family
Most people pursue financial success so they can provide for their families. Almost every parent wants to send their children off to a great college, or buy every toy on their child’s wish list. However, a gift doesn’t substitute for time spent with family.
Being there to support our family, being there to laugh with each other and create memories together is something that money can’t buy.
How money can increase the value of time spent with family
What money can do is help you afford a family vacation. Money allows you to rent bikes so everyone in the family can go bike riding one afternoon. Family experiences are made possible with money but cannot substitute for time spent with family.
When children or even siblings need a hug and emotional support, money won't offer them comfort.
Remember, there is no cost to quality time with family. Children cherish memories, not cash.
2. Genuine friendships
The thought that quality is better than quantity applies to friendships. Having a genuine friend is one of the best things in life. It's something that makes life fun.
It’s why almost every Disney movie stars the main character and their best friend. To get the most out of our friendships, we need to make sure our friends have the following qualities:
They are present when they are with you
Your true friends should be happy to spend time with you. Real friends aren't going to be scrolling their phones or acting bored when you get together.
They listen to you when you speak
A true friend will really listen when you talk. They'll offer advice and understanding.
They support you when you have goals and dreams
Genuine friends will support you when you tell them about your goals. They'll cheer you on and try to help you succeed.
They make your friendship a priority
Your real friends will make time to hang out with you, and they'll check up on you to see how you are. After all, genuine friendship is one of the things in life that makes you feel good about yourself.
Friends support us when we want to have a night in to save money. They support us when we want to start a new business or change careers.
Money can get us attention and admiration from some but it can’t buy us that friend who we can call at 3 am because we need someone to talk to. So cherish your true friends.
3. Unforgettable memories
Thinking back on our best childhood memories brings a smile to our faces. The reason why those memories are engrained in our minds is because of how we felt in those moments. Like the times when we felt pure joy splashing in rain puddles or climbing a tree.
Even as adults we have memories that remind us how precious life is.
Being able to reflect on these memories helps us to keep moving onward when life gets difficult.
How money affects memories
Yes, working and making money is important, but if we spend the next five years trying to reach a money goal and we don’t have time to enjoy life, we’re going to look back with regret.
Money will always be there but the opportunity to make lasting memories may not. After all, cherished memories are one of the things that makes you feel good about yourself.
4. Good health
Health is essential and should be a high priority.
When our bodies are healthy, hydrated, and nutritious we in turn feel good. A healthy body is energized, focused, and ready to take on the challenges of the day and do well with what needs to be done.
When our health is poor, everything in our lives tends to suffer. We have less energy to work. We don’t feel the motivation to spend time with loved ones or participate in hobbies we enjoy.
Not to mention treatments for severe illnesses and medications can be very expensive and cause us financial distress.
Money and health
Although we can’t go to the store and pick up a box of good cholesterol, we can make sure that our money goes towards things that help increase or maintain good health.
We can do this by putting our money towards buying quality foods, taking fitness classes, and getting routine check-ups.
Confidence is something that affects every aspect of life. It can help us get the job we want or help us become great leaders.
When we lack confidence it can be easy to fake it. This can look like buying fancy clothes or expensive gadgets to give off the impression that we’re confident. But confidence cannot be created with money.
But real confidence is shown in how we speak, act and carry ourselves. We should strive to have this kind of confidence instead of pretending.
How to build confidence
Building true confidence takes time and can be built with practice. When we start to pay attention to the compliments we often receive or the help we give others, we start to notice the things we are good at.
And when we notice our abilities we start to feel a sense of accomplishment, self-assurance, and pride that translates into more confidence.
Everyone was put on the earth to fulfill a certain purpose, yet figuring out that purpose is not easy. First, we must understand our unique talents and skills, then we have to figure out how to use them.
Having a purpose means we have this innate drive, this fire inside of us to create, lead, design, and use our gifts to make an impact on this world.
Your purpose and work
With the hustle culture, it can be easy to confuse our purpose with making money. However, money can be a by-product of living our purpose. What this can look like, is finding a career that focuses on things we are curious about or that excites us.
Alternatively, we can have a job that allows us to pursue our purpose in other areas of life. You can use the money you make to help others and do things you love.
Wisdom is one of those things that is difficult to explain, but it’s deemed important. Some say it comes with age and time. Others say it comes from experience.
One thing is for sure, it doesn’t always come with money. This is why many of us have made the mistake of overspending or making poor financial choices.
What is wisdom
Wisdom is having an internal compass of knowing what to do. When there are hard decisions to make wisdom chooses the options that give us the best possible outcome. When we become wise we can make better decisions for ourselves, especially when it comes to money.
Being wise with our money means we know how to spend it, we know how to invest it and we know what to do with our money that will bring us the best results.
It's also important to be a wise person by paying attention to our words and not being in a hurry to act.
The more we become aware of ourselves and the world around us, the wiser we become. Wisdom is one of the things in life that makes you feel good about yourself and helps you get the most from life.
Joy is being more than happy. It’s the ability to find peace and happiness when life is less than perfect. It is about being fully present at the moment and not letting ourselves get distracted by worry and stress.
Joy helps us to see the light at the end of the tunnel when we feel like we’ve been in the dark.
Feelings and joy
Joy is less about what we do and more about how we feel. It’s the sensation of the sun shining on our skin. Or the smile that appears on our faces when we talk to a good friend.
Although we may feel happy when we receive money, joy is a constant feeling that can't be changed depending on the number that's in our bank account.
9. Peace of mind
There is a misconception that all our problems will go away, and all our worrying will stop once we have more money. Of course with more money you can do more things, pay off debt and have enough money for an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert when you go out to eat.
But having more money is not a substitute for peace of mind. Rather, making good choices with your money will lead to feeling more peaceful.
How to use money to encourage peace of mind
What often happens when we get more money is we spend more money. This is okay if we are mindful of how we spend money. More money can be part of acquiring peace of mind if we have our finances in order.
We can gain peace of mind with our money by having a plan or a budget for money. Knowing where our money will go every month can relieve stress and break negative spending habits.
10. The satisfaction of creating
We all are creators. Every one of us has started with an idea and made it into something we could see, touch, smell or hear.
Whether we baked a cake from scratch, created a new song, or created a human being, there is something special about turning an idea into a reality.
We must make creation a regular practice. Whether we create a new dish, a new dance step, or even a new friendship, when creating something, we make life a joyful experience.
Money can give us the tools to create something but ultimately it’s up to us to make it happen.
Laughter is supposed to be the very best medicine and it is in so many ways. It relieves stress and can make a bad day feel lighter.
It allows us to connect and create bonds with people in our lives and is one of the simple pleasures in life.
How to laugh more
The best things about laughter are that it’s free, and you can laugh as often as you want. Money doesn't buy laughter; you have to notice the funny things in life.
If you need to laugh you can call the friend who's known as the jokester of the group. You can reach out to that uncle that always has something crazy and funny to say. Even googling funny cat videos is sure to get your cheeks burning from laughing too much.
Why the best things in life are more important than money!
Time spent with friends and family, making lasting memories, and laughter, are all part of creating a joyful experience in life.
By focusing on obtaining wisdom, peace of mind, joy, and the other things on the list of good things in life, we can make the pursuit of wealth a more enjoyable process.
The harsh truth is that some of people’s biggest life regrets are about working too hard, not having better relationships, and not being happier. Remember that the purpose of money is to help us live a better life.