A recent study has found that Brits believe having certain things would make them feel happier. The truth of the matter is- they won’t. Happiness is not about stuff and quick fixes- so here are my suggestions for how you can readjust your thinking and appreciate and make the most of what you already have.   

A walk on the beach is a day out that costs nothing

A walk on the beach is a day out that costs nothing

A holiday abroad- Surely it doesn’t matter where you holiday as long as you are with the right people and have a good rest? You could be camping in the back end of nowhere but if you are with people who make it fun- and you have the chance to unwind, you don’t need to get on a plane to make you happy.

A weekend away- Weekends away are great, but so are weekends at home. They cost nothing and if you get creative with your activities – you can have just a good a time as you would if you were sleeping in a new bed. Weekends should be happy times without dressing them up- it’s two days off from work for crying out loud!

Day trips with the family- You don’t have to leave the house to have a great time with the family- it just needs a bit if foreword thinking. As long as you have something planned in- you can have a blast from the comfort of your own place. Play a board game, have a picnic or camp in your back garden, bake cakes, spring clean- whatever takes your fancy.  If you do want to get out and about- do something that's free- walk along the beach, in your local park or forest- visit a museum or go and visit a local freind or relative.

Treats for my family like lunch out- You can whip up something just as exciting at home as any restaurant can serve. Why not have an afternoon tea at home? It’s easy and doesn’t cost as much as if you were to go to a fancy café. Or get all the little odds and sods out of your freezer and make a random buffet of treats.

Move house- What do you want to move for? Do you actually need the extra room, or do you want to move because everyone else around you is? Be thankful you have a roof over your head to call home and maximise the space you do have with clever storage solutions.

New clothes- Think about the last time you bought yourself a new outfit- how long did it give you a rush for? Seconds? Minutes? A night? Not long enough is the answer- so borrow something from a friend for a night out or sort out your wardrobe and discover the things you’ve not worn for ages- it will make you feel like you’ve got a whole new one.  

Put away for money for a pension- You may already be able to do this if you can be honest with yourself and find where your disposable income is going every month. You might have to sacrifice your monthly meal out or your weekly boozy sessions, but it will be worth it when you see the money start to mount up.

A car- If your existing car is safe and can get you from A-B- there is no reason to get another. Give your car a valet inside and out and see it shine up like a new penny.

Dinner with partner/friends- You can do this- just have it at home. If you can’t be bothered cooking- get in easy, ready to serve things- it’s not about location, it’s about getting together with one another for gossip and company.

Pay off credit card debt- If your debt was to be cleared in the blink of an eye- you would fall straight back into it again. The process of paying it off and making sacrifices would escape you- it’s important to feel the temporary strain so you will know never to buy more than you can afford again.

Nicer food for the home- Often food whether it costs pence or pounds tastes the same anyway- take away the packing and it’s essentially the same stuff. The most important thing is it’s made with love.

A new kitchen- And what would change in this new kitchen? Chances are you would cook the same things- a new kitchen doesn’t suddenly give you the passion for cooking you wish you had.

Pay off more off my mortgage- If you were to pay off your mortgage in a heartbeat- it’s likely you would go looking for another property to sink your money into- putting you in more debt so you’d be in exactly the same position. Or you’d might spend the extra money frivolously.

A laptop/computer- If there is nothing wrong with your old one- why do you need a new one? To keep up with the Jones’?

Going out for drinks- Why? The weather is dreadful outside so why not have drinks at home and invite the people you normally meet with to your home instead. Perhaps you can rotate it, so you go to each drinking buddie’s house once a week instead of the pub.

Put away money for a deposit for a house-Again if you dig deep, there will be places you can cut back on your spending- do you need to cancel that magazine subscription? Or reduce your weekly food bill? Perhaps you need to dial your hobby back to once a month rather than once a week?

Pay off loans- See above- if you are intent on doing it- write down your income and outgoings and see where you can make some cutbacks.

Decorate a room in your house-  Often a room just need a good clean and a thorough sort to give it a refresh. Do this first and see how you feel afterwards- if you invest the time it might feel like a brand new room with a bit of TLC.

New shoes- If your other shoes don’t have holes in them- you’re good.

Based on research by wealthify.com