I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and have been listening to her Podcast, Happier, for several years. Rubin is down to earth, even going as far as commenting back to me on Linkedin when I asked her when she was coming to Australia on her next book tour. I finally got around to purchasing her book, The Happiness Project, in November 2017 before a long work flight.
The Happiness Project is an easy read divided into months in case you would like to read the book over a year and slowly introduce Rubin’s techniques into your life.
I was laughing out loud and identifying with Rubin throughout the book whether it was when she got Harry hard out into her decluttering and started getting excited about sorting out her friends wardrobes and houses, or when she talked about how her fear of not getting something absolutely perfect in the past kept her from progressing with a task or some of the inner thoughts in her head that she shares throughout her book and some of the comments running through her head challenging her various goals throughout the process.
Rubin lets you into her life and her head sharing her wins and her shortcomings, really making me come back to another author, Brene Brown’s work on vulnerablity. I think why this book really spoke to me is that Rubin is vulnerable. Rubin shows her vulnerablity and active changes in her initial reactions and choice of behaviour in an ancedote when another author publically slayed her work. Rubin spoke of her initial reaction and applied her theory sending a friendly message to the reviewer and later on in her life meeting him at a party and having an amicable exchange.
There are a series of short tips and tricks at the back that summarise points such as seven ways to more effectively communicate with your sweetheart, nine tips to stick to a schedule of regular exercise, how to stop nagging and ways to get around forgetting someone’s name (I found this particularly of use)
Rubin is an avid reader and has a comprehensive bibliography at the end of her book with a real mixture of titles that have helped to inform and inspire her writing.
I had four main points I took from this book to apply to my personal finance journey…
Mindfully spend money on things you love and ditch the other items
It’s important to spend money on items that give you joy and to give up habits that do not.
I gave up buying lunch for work except if it involved a situation where I could actively enjoy an interaction with a friend, instead I had funds earmarked for a weekly brunch with girlfriends on Saturday mornings.
I also actively gave myself a line in my budget for my daily coffee habit because it makes me feel really happy.
Enjoy the process
I’m a gift giver but sometimes I do not enjoy the process of organising because I worry about things not being quite right. Rubin speaks about getting into the entire joy of the whole process when you are giving. So whether that is enjoying the whole Christmas shopping experience from the music, to conversations, to picking the perfect wrapping paper, to wrapping the gifts with a theme, making gift cards and giving the gift. Or if you are planning a dinner party enjoying your research, being present during your shop, picking your favourite podcasts to listen to when you cook, presenting the table in a unique way and cleaning up with some of your most sing out loud tunes.
Do your research, set your goals but also enjoy where you are sitting and your daily process – right here, right now
Finally a bit of a new trial with my CV. They say not to judge a book by a cover but the bright blue and yellow cover certainly stands out for Gretchen’s book. The back cover of this book has even inspired my CV format which is now in my signature colour, orange.
What did you take away from The Happiness Project?
The Economiss is a single, female, millennial on a mission to buy her first home in Australia. A Kiwi by birth, she jumped over the ditch after she finished her tertiary qualifications in search of employment. The narratives quite often showing up online overshadowed her thoughts of buying a house alone changed in 2017 The Economiss started super charging her finances and saved over 30% of her after tax income towards her house deposit as well as cash flowing four overseas trips. In 2018 The Economiss decided to create a new narrative and share her journey saving 36% of her after tax income for a $60,000 house deposit by December 2018. Do you have some tips to share or want to be featured on the blog, please get in touch!