How Utilizing Joy-Based Spending Can Save Your Finances

Besides improved body health, improved financial health is one of the most common New Year’s *resolutions* that people make. Financial health is extremely important for both college students + recent grads. By focusing now on your financial health, you are able to get rid of current stress it may cause you + set yourself up for future success! One way to improve your financial health is a concept by Manisha Thakor, MBA, CFA called Joy-Based Spending. Here is a simple exercise you can use in your own life to start saving money this year.


  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Highlighter


#1] Write down a list of everything you spent money on last month. You can use your credit card + bank statements to do this. Seeing it all at once versus small payments over an entire month can give you a different perspective.

#2] Take a highlighter + highlight all of the items that brought you joy. Did that dinner with your friend bring you joy, or did you complain about it after? Did that fast-food run bring you joy? What about that Starbucks or new shirt? Channel your inner Marie Kondo + tidy up your list.

#3] Look at the things that you did not highlight. Is there a pattern? Are these things you can eliminate? Some things like your electric bill might not have seemed like the most joyful thing, + you cannot eliminate them,  but, I bet that heat + air conditioning brought you joy ++ comfort. With things such as bills like this, write next to them what brings you joy [the heat + air] + then highlight that.

Take last month as a lesson, + practice joy-based spending this month! Before you swipe your card, ask yourself, will this genuinely bring me joy? Try to limit things that you spend money on last month but didn’t highlight. This simple practice can help you save some money + start 2019 on the right foot. Need some other tips for financial health? Read this article about how to get #inCHAARG of your finances.

Do you have any money-saving tips or tricks? Share them in the comments below!

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