“Everybody has something that chews them up and, for me, that thing was always loneliness. The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are.” — Tom Hanks
Many of us feel lonely, and many of us might watch a lot of movies in order to take our minds off our loneliness. But that doesn’t really keep us from being lonely. There are many ways to address feelings of loneliness, such as volunteering, joining a club, contacting friends, taking a class, and exercising.
There are even some finance-related remedies for loneliness, such as the ones below. See if any of them are of interest.
According to the recently released report “The Global State of Social Connections” from Gallup and Meta Platforms, when people in 142 countries and territories were surveyed, fully 24% — nearly a quarter of them — reported feeling “very” or “fairly” lonely. With the world population recently at nearly 8 billion people, that suggests that close to 2 billion people are lonely.
If you’re in a supermarket or classroom or workplace, you can probably safely estimate that roughly one in four people you see is lonely. That’s a lot of loneliness!
In addition, while loneliness was generally quite widespread, it was more prevalent among young people, aged 19 to 29.
If you’re one of them, here are some financial remedies to try.
Participate in online discussions
You may or may not have much experience participating in online forums and discussion groups, but they’ve been around for a long time — more than 20 years, in the case of The Motley Fool’s discussion boards.
On our boards, you’ll find gobs of discussions underway, organized into various investing and personal finance topics, such as Investing Beginners, Living Below Your Means, Getting a Child Into College, Ask the Headhunter, Real Estate Investing, Military Fools, Buying or Selling a Home, Retired Fools, Tax Strategies, Reading Financial Statements, Biotechnology, and Ask a Foolish Question — just to name a few. There are also many boards for various individual stocks.
On these boards, you can ask questions and you’ll frequently get answers — from a wide range of people. If you just pop in now and then and get an answer to a question, you may not get much of a sense of community, but if you spend more time regularly, and share more freely, you may very well find yourself developing some real friendships online. By sharing more freely, I mean you might offer answers to other people’s questions, and you might just share your thoughts on news or developments related to any given board.
You’ll find a rich online community at The Motley Fool, but it’s not the only one. A little digging elsewhere, perhaps for other areas of interest to you, may yield some wonderful experiences.
Join — or form — an investment club
Next, consider joining or forming an investment club. In a traditional investment club, you might have joined with others and pooled actual money regularly (perhaps $50 per month, for example), deciding jointly how to invest it. This can still work well, but it does require good record-keeping, and not everyone will want to go this far.
So consider a simpler version of an investment club, where you stop short of pooling your money. Instead, you can still meet regularly and can share research you’ve each done into various stocks. You might organize your club in different ways — maybe one member presents an in-depth report each month, or maybe three members present brief company ideas and you all vote on which to research further. You can discuss and learn about various investing topics, too, such as inflation, dollar-cost averaging, sustainable investing, or behavioral finance.
With an investment club, you can get smarter about investing, get lots of investment ideas, and along the way, make some good friends while socializing regularly. Your club can start off with half an hour of chit-chat, even, before getting down to business.
A recent news story from Vancouver, Canada, discussed how many young people were getting creative financially, in order to save money and spend less. Here are some of the things they’re doing:
- Using apps to find discounts and sales
- Enjoying board game nights with friends instead of going out
- Getting many needed items from Buy Nothing groups and similar groups online
- Bartering — exchanging, say, a haircut for a fixed leaky faucet
Some of these kinds of activities have led them to a sense of community and have surely reduced loneliness levels.
Meeting in person
You might also fend off loneliness by joining some in-person financial groups. For example, if you search at a site such as Meetup.com for terms such as money, finance, and investing, you might find more than a few groups of interest that are holding regular meetings. Pick a few and go to at least one of them for at least a few gatherings, and you may find some like-minded possible friends. And even if not, you’ll be filling your social calendar — while also learning more about money.
All of these ideas can help you get smarter financially and perhaps even richer while making friends or at least staying busier socially. And that’s likely to help you feel less lonely.