Does money make us happy?


This NYT article suggests, as most of us have heard, that no, money itself does not make us happy.  And neither does buying things. However, the ways in which we choose to spend our money does have an impact on our happiness level.

The long and short of it is that spending on possessions does not increase happiness, but spending on experiences does!  As one researcher put it, “If money doesn’t make you happy then you probably aren’t spending it right.”  This, they say, is because experiences help build bonds, and having stronger relationships does build happiness in the long run.

So here’s the takeaway:  spending money to go away for a weekend with your honey or to throw a dinner party with friends will make you happier than a new tv or pair of shoes.  That’s a life lesson worth remembering!  And it’s proven by research!

Here’s another interesting takeaway, about the idea that more is never enough: ”Scholars have discovered that one way consumers combat hedonic adaptation is to buy many small pleasures instead of one big one. Instead of a new Jaguar, Professor Lyubomirsky advises, buy a massage once a week, have lots of fresh flowers delivered and make phone calls to friends in Europe. Instead of a two-week long vacation, take a few three-day weekends.”

Read the rest here.

[via ECAB, images via Ginny Branch]

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  1. [...] the things I wanted represented only relationships and experiences– the two things you do hear over and over that make you [...]

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