Can you spend your way to happiness?
You can be poor and happy, and you can be rich and unhappy. But the norm is more likely poor and unhappy or rich and happy. But it doesn't have to be that way.
According to Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, money can definitely make you more satisfied with life; you just need to know how to spend it more effectively.
In their book Happy Money, the authors offer several key principles for happy spending. It's an easy read and not too preachy.
What's more, unlike many "yes, you too can be happy" books, Dunn, an associate professor of psychology at the UBC, and Norton, who teaches marketing at the Harvard Business School, back up their views with both their own research and third-party studies from around the world.
Here are a few of their suggestions:
Buy experiences, not things. A new Porsche may make you happy for a while, but the glow soon fades. ls. Spend your money on experiences instead. They're more likely to be shared with others whereas material things very often are enjoyed alone.
Make those things unusual. Whatever good things in life come our way, we tend to get used to them. Even the most enjoyable experiences eventually become boring. So try to make something as simple as your morning coffee a bit of a treat rather than a daily routine.
Buy some time. Time should be used for distinct activities that produce lasting effects on happiness. You won’t enjoy playing with your kids if you're worried about the money you're leaving on the table by not being at the office.
Pay now, consume later. Where possible, Dunn and Norton suggest exchanging "buy now, pay later" for something closer to "pay now, consume later". Not only are you less likely to get into debt this way, the pleasure of anticipation provides another source of happiness.
Invest in others. Although it seems counterintuitive, the single best thing you can do with your money is to spend it on someone other than yourself.
When the authors gave study participants $20 to keep or give away, the ones who gave it away felt much happier, a response that was fairly constant around the world and among different ages.
If you don't have time to read the book, here's a TED talk that hits the highlights.
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Kent | Aug 12, 2021 6:23:20 PM
In my experience I find that people who have a positive outlook in life tend to do well financially. After all, it's easier to hire and promote happy people. And we'd all prefer to buy from a happy business owner than a miserable one...so this makes sense. (The one exception is unionized people who always seem to complain about their jobs and employers even though they receive more money than they could earn on their own merit.)
Don't get me wrong...there are a ton of business people who have tons of money and no quality of life but in general if you are happy person with a good outlook you'll do well financially. Money doesn't buy happiness BUT happiness (and some hard work and education) can get you more money.
Posted by: Atul K | Aug 12, 2021 7:55:48 PM
I partly agree with you Kent regarding Unionized people complaining about their jobs. I love my job and thankful to GOD that I have a job which I like the most. I am happy to be at work every day and I wear a simle in all that I do. To be happy one has to be CONTENT and thankful for what they Have.
Few suggestions mentioned in this article are really what everyone needs to BE HAPPY.
Posted by: Mario | Aug 12, 2021 8:10:36 PM
Money can't buy you love, but it sure can buy you happiness. It's not about owning a Porsche, or vacationing in the Bahamas 4 times a year... it's about doing what you love, and having the oportunity to do that very thing.
Not everyone comes from oportunity. I have always imagined what I would do if I won a million dollars, and the first thing isn't "buy a car" but quit the job I'm not enjoying and go to school and study for the career I truly want. Unfortunately, life, bills, etc, limit people from really achieving all they can because of lack of means (or in other words, lack of money). Yes, some people are just lazy, but there are many that want to do so much more, but can't afford to do it (go to school, take time to become an apprentice, etc).
So just having a positive outlook on life may help, but it doesn't give you the "means" to achieve your goals.
Posted by: Annie | Aug 12, 2021 9:58:35 PM
The one thing I value above all other things or money at this stage of my life is my time. Time to me is something that was not my own for a very long time, as I am sure it isn't for alot of people. Just think about it- when you were a child time was your friend, then you started school and you were on someone else's schedule. You then got a job or career and again your time was not your own.Then came marriage and a family, again time not your own. Now don't get me wrong I enjoyed all these aspects of my life, but I am also happy that those phases are over. Happiness to me is getting up every morning and knowing I can plan my day in any way I want to, be as active as I choose or as laid back-not answering to anyone. If I want to go anywhere I make my arrangements and I go. Please don't be mistaken in thinking I have lots of money, I don't, I live on a modest income. I realize we all need a certain amount of money to live on, but I tend to agree that things are not as important as life experiences. I do strive to enjoy my time and I do not take it for granted.