“The most simple things can bring the most happiness” – Izabella Scorupco
I saw this quote on Twitter the other day and it really rang true for me. That made me wonder what simple things make me happy.
Having a Clean House
When I have a clean house I’m usually in a happy mood. My mind isn’t racing a million miles an hour thinking about what chore needs to be done around the house.
Waking up Early in the Morning
I wrote about this recently and waking up a little earlier every morning has brought upon several positives in my life such as less stress and more time.
My motivation goes up and down in regards to blogging however I have been blogging more regularly the last few months and it seems to lift my mood every time. I enjoy documenting what’s happening in my life, sharing things I have learnt and I also love it when people like and comment on my posts. It’s a great feeling to know that people have taken the time to read and acknowledge what I write.
What are the simple things in your life that always lift your mood?
I love my sleep and for most of this year I have been struggling to wake up at a more suitable time in the morning. Pregnancy has brought upon a fair bit of fatigue, I remember my first trimester being particularly tiring in the mornings.
I needed to make a change, so a few weeks ago I decided to start getting up early. When I say early I don’t mean 5am, I’m talking more like 7am 🙂 However when the baby arrives I’m sure this will change completely!
My mornings are always a rush, I honestly don’t know where the time goes. Hence, to make things easier I have started to prepare my breakfast and iron my clothes the night before. These two changes have really helped to speed things up.
It’s been over two weeks now and as a result of waking up a little earlier and being more prepared in the mornings, I’m actually feeling a lot happier. And I think there are several reasons for this.
Arriving at Work on Time
I am getting to work at a more respectable time now. This gives me more time to settle in the morning and most importantly more time to get my work done which means less stress.
Feeling More Organised
I feel more organised because I’m making the effort to prepare the night before.
Getting Home Earlier
As a result of getting to work on time, I can also leave work on time without having to stay back.
The Week Slows Down
It feels like the week doesn’t rush by like it usually does and I guess it’s because I have more time. Some people might see this as a negative but I’m definitely seeing it as a positive as I like things moving a little slower.
I have to credit my husband for giving me the push I needed to get started on this. It really does help when you have someone supporting you to achieve your goals.
I’m really happy that this routine change has brought upon so many positives, I really wasn’t expecting it to. What small changes have you made in your life that has brought you happiness?
Over the last few months I have been thinking a fair bit about superannuation (super). For any non Australians reading this, superannuation is basically what we call our retirement savings. Maybe it’s a hot topic because it’s tax time and also because we just had a federal election. There are so many articles out there right now about what we should do with our super, hence its something that has been lingering in my mind of late.
One of the common pieces of advice that I have read just about everywhere is to make additional contributions. I think I first started making additional contributions through salary sacrifice around 2005-2006. This was mainly due to my dad forcing me to. I am glad he did, it has really helped boost my super over the years.
My salary was definitely not high back then so I started by contributing $50 per week. A few years later I increased it to $70 per week and it stayed that way till the end of 2013, which is when I changed jobs and I stopped making any additional contributions.
When I started my new job I was intending to start salary sacrificing again. However, I reconsidered because I had a mortgage. I just figured I would rather keep the money and put it towards my mortgage and reduce interest instead.
Now almost 2.5 years later I am thinking about making additional contributions again. I still have a mortgage, that hasn’t changed but I do like the idea of building my retirement savings.
The tax incentives are good. You can make a maximum pre-tax annual contribution of up to $30,000 into your super (including your employers contributions) and get taxed just 15%. That is all well and good but the only disadvantage is that you can’t access the money if you need to as it is locked away until you hit retirement age. Hence despite the tax incentive I will most likely start by contributing small amounts and not dump a huge amount in case I need it later.
I have also been thinking about taking more risks with my super. I have been told that I can get a financial advisor, free of charge with my super fund to give me advise on how I can get higher returns. This is another aspect I need to look into, but I just haven’t had the time to get organised and do it.
Do you have any short term plans for your retirement savings?
Based on what I see on social media I am amazed at how much money people spend. I know I shouldn’t believe everything I see on social media but when I see some people post a photo almost everyday where they show off a fancy meal, a holiday they went on, their latest designer clothes, accessories and shoes, I naturally wonder if they even have $1 in their bank account.
I just can’t fathom throwing away money like that.
Then again I don’t know the whole story. Maybe they are earning high salaries and still have money left over after all the spending. I find that really hard to believe in some of these cases but I don’t have access to their bank accounts so I can’t be 100% sure 🙂
Then again if it makes them happy to spend so much then who am I to judge? We are all different and just because I wouldn’t choose to spend my money in that way that doesn’t mean others don’t find happiness in doing so.
It’s not like I’m against spending money. I mean what’s the point of making money if you don’t enjoy yourself. We usually go on one holiday per year, eat out about 2-3 times a week and go to the cinema every so often (depends on what movies are out). Some people might think we are throwing away money too but these things make us happy.
I guess the key thing is that you shouldn’t spend more than you earn. If these people I see on social media still have money left over after all that spending then that’s fine. The problems start when you live beyond your means. Meanwhile I will try and be less judgemental 🙂
Image: Raiyyan Exchange