Want to know if money can truly buy happiness? How about a brutally honest and refreshing look at money and happiness? That’s what author Melissa Leong has in store with her new book called, Happy Go Money.

Melissa takes readers along her journey, from frugal beginnings growing up in Winnipeg, to covering the personal finance beat for the Financial Post, then leaving it all behind to spend more time at home only to end up with her husband in the psych ward under the crushing weight of depression.

How’s that for the opening chapter of a personal finance book?

Happy Go Money

Easy to read, yet packed with the latest studies on behavioural psychology, Melissa dives into head first into happiness research and tells readers to F*ck the Joneses, Stuff your Stuff, Invoke the Dollar Lama, and to Bullet-proof your Happiness.

I enjoyed reading the research she included on life satisfaction and day-to-day happiness – the one that says after you make roughly $75,000 per year, any increase after that actually decreases your happiness.

Then there’s the Hedonic Treadmill, our tendency to quickly return to a relative stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative life events. It’s the reason why more money or more stuff is never enough. That quick dopamine rush wears off and we return to our normal state.

Or how about the idea that the worse off our neighbours are, the happier we’ll be? That’s right, studies show that people would prefer to earn $50,000 a year while their neighbours earn $30,000 a year, rather than earn $80,000 a year while their neighbours earn $100,000 a year.

Melissa explores all of these studies and more, while applying the research to her own life as she struggled through a career change and her husband’s mental health.

What she wrote about all of that hit home: More money wouldn’t have made things better or made her any happier. But she also was grateful they had their money house in order so that when sh!t hit the fan the last thing they had to worry about was paying the bills.

I highly recommend reading Happy Go Money – it might just change your perspective about money and happiness. If not, well the book is still a smart, witty, and fun read that you won’t be able to put down.

A Happy Go Money Giveaway

With that in mind, I’d like to give away two copies of Happy Go Money to a pair of lucky readers here on Boomer & Echo. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me about a recent money accomplishment.

Did you pay off a nagging debt? Open up a TFSA? Reach a savings milestone? Read a personal finance blog? Let me know in the comments and you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of two copies of Happy Go Money. The contest closes Friday January 18th at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Good luck!

PS – Don’t want to wait for the contest? Buy the book on Amazon here.

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I wrote about how my wife will save money on taxes with a Wealthsimple RRSP.

And on Thursday I shared why you should disaster proof your life with easy and affordable term life insurance.

Weekend Reading:

Speaking of Happy Go Money, blogger Nick Maguilli shares a story about Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin who got a little too greedy when trying to sell his machine across the United States.

Attention headline writers across the financial news media. Stop taking otherwise sound articles like this one and putting ridiculous titles on them such as, “Is it time to jump back into the stock market?

This week RBC and BlackRock teamed up to create an ETF giant – RBC iShares. It’s a massive merger, but index investing proponent Dan Bortolotti is sceptical it will have any real effect on investors:

“I suppose that’s a good thing, although any IIROC-licensed RBC advisor has always been able to use ETFs if he or she was so inclined. It’s not going to turn old-school active advisors into enthusiastic proponents of low-cost indexing.”

Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense updates his favourite investment performance chart for 2018. Of note, last year was the first time in a decade that cash outperformed all other asset classes, with a 1.7 percent return. The largest decline was felt by emerging markets, which fell 15.3 percent.

Not to be outdone, Dale Roberts posted his investing year in review and says 2018 was not financial Armageddon.

Frugal Trader at Million Dollar Journey shares a financial checklist to start 2019 strong.

Here’s everything you need to know about the enhanced CPP — from how much you’ll pay to how much you’ll get.

Is cashing in RRSPs now to maximize OAS and GIS a good idea for this New Brunswick couple when they retire next year?

Mark Seed at My Own Advisor shares some little known facts about Old Age Security that you need to know.

In his latest Carrick Talks Money Video, Rob Carrick says it’s okay to spend some savings in your healthiest retirement years:

Some excellent thoughts shared here by Morgan Housel on markets and investing:

“Underestimating adaptation and reversion to the mean is the greatest cause of pessimism. If you can stick around long enough to stomach the adaptations, optimism should virtually always the default assumption.”

Mortgage brokers behaving badly again? An alleged ‘shadow’ mortgage broker was implicated in dozens of shady deals, including altered tax documents that allegedly helped bump up a janitor’s annual income from $10,881 to $77,000.

Finally, Costco is selling a giant tub of Mac & Cheese it says will last for 20 years. The 27-pound tub contains 180 servings and despite the long shelf-life customer reviews say it tastes ‘delicious’. Ummm, no thanks.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pin It on Pinterest