I enjoyed a lovely lunch with my friend Rachel the other day.
We were talking about different people’s approach to the recession and their attitude towards money. So many people have got themselves into a position of fear and have cut all ‘unnecessary’ spending. Meals out, trips to the cinema, beauty treatments, holidays – all off limits.
Rachel and her husband have taken a different approach. Mindful of just frittering money away (aren’t we all guilty of chucking a few quid away on things we neither really want or need?), they decided to invent Happy Points.
Much like the loyalty points that supermarkets award you for spending in their store, Happy Points are designed to encourage you to spend. But the difference is that these points are all about focusing your attention on getting the joy out of your spending, or rather out of what you are spending your money on.
So a meal out at the local pub because you can’t be bothered cooking might not get many points, but a meal at a lovely restaurant where you have both taken the trouble to get dressed up, order just what you want from the menu and have a special bottle of wine with your meal gains lots of Happy Points.
If you’ve had a stressful time at work, then spending some money on a relaxing massage or facial will again earn lots of Happy Points. Having a weekend away in a boutique hotel where you take the time to reconnect with each other gets you both lots of Happy Points. Buying an unexpected gift for a loved one earns double points – one lot for the happiness of giving, another for the joy of receiving.
It isn’t about going out and spending unnecessarily. It’s about making sure that when you do spend money, you gain the maximum number of Happy Points.
And just like the supermarket schemes, Happy Points are redeemable – you can exchange them for less stress in your life, more joy every day and wonderful memories to keep forever.