“Love of money is the root of all evil.”

“The best things in life are free.”

“Money can’t buy happiness.”

The list of goes on and on. But what if money actually could buy happiness? What if people started viewing money in a different light and began appreciating its purpose rather than fearing its lack? What if giving what you hope to get actually worked?  And what if maybe, just maybe, you bust out of your comfort zone, get a little radical and test-drive a few of these myth-busting slants for yourself? Do it. I triple dog dare you!

Notion #1: Spending money on someone else has the power to “turn that frown upside down.”

Try it if you don’t believe me. Next time you’re in line at your local coffee shop, for example, play philanthropist and pay for the person behind you. Their shock alone will be enough to bring a smile to your face. Not only that, your actions effectively set into motion the law of “what goes around comes around,” putting you next in line to be the receiver of a surprise gift. Even if it doesn’t come back to you in the form of a much-needed latte, you can always pull up that feeling of happiness you got from using your frown-reversal technique in the coffee shop.

Notion #2: Never underestimate the power of good hair.

Or nice clothes. Or a massage. Let’s face it, regardless of your gender, you know you want to put your best foot forward. Looking and feeling “fly” makes you confident, sexy and happy. Unless you’re getting the most amazing styles ever at the Great Clips, find a salon–or tailor or spa–that may cost a little more, but will make you look and feel your best. You are worth it, after all.

Notion #3: Time is money, and spending money to have more time is a good use of both your time and money.

Look at it this way: you’ve been spending all of your after-work “free” time trying to paint the master bathroom, for example. You absolutely hate painting, and it’s pulling you away from your family, friends and fun.So hire a professional. Seriously. Think about the time, energy and, yes, even money, you’ll be saving by having someone who enjoys painting do your dirty work for you. Ahhh, yes, that’s the exhaling sound of money buying you peace and happiness.

Notion #4: Having money to pay your bills brings relief and makes room for a little more happiness in your day.

Dreading answering the phone, opening the mailbox or reading e-mails because you know there are at least two collectors waiting for you on the other end creates even more, well, dread.

Notion #5: Paying for–and using–a gym membership induces happiness.

It gets your endorphins endorphing, your clothes fitting looser and your mirror reflecting a more spunky you, yes? The trick here, of course, is the “using it” part. If you end up hitting the weights for only a few months and then fall off the proverbial treadmill, then by all means cancel your membership. Not spending on money on something is just as effective at bringing you joy as paying for something does.

Notion #6: Healthy equals happy.

While running up your Visa to buy six pairs of shoes in every color may bring temporary happiness, opening the credit card statement will not.  When you guiltlessly spend your hard-earned money on things like taking your family to see Cats, going on the vacation you’ve been putting off or buying a big screen TV for your Friday Night Movie Night with your kids (or even Monday Night Football with the guys), you can rest assured that’s money well spent. After all, smiles are free and there will be many of those that come from the memories you made from using money to create them.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with allowing yourself to have a healthy relationship with spending money. Perhaps it’s time to let go of other people’s limiting thoughts and “wisdom” and start living in a way that brings happiness to you and everyone around you. Remember, it’s the love of money that steals your joy–not necessarily the use of it.

So to the person who said “money can’t buy happiness,” I say “Oh really?!”

What about the highly happy people? The 7 Secrets of Highly Happy People

Featured photo credit: MikeKalasnik via Flickr

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