January 7, 2015

How Spending can Enhance Happiness

The new year is a good time to reflect on our spending practices. In their book Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending by researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton reveal that how you spend your money may be more important to your happiness than how much you can spend. According to the author, you may be able to boost your feeling of well-being by spending money on others, paying for experiences, or using your money to free up time. According to reviewer and financial adviser Michael Kitces, the research “suggests that sometimes, the best things we can do to improve our happiness may lie in not trying to maximize our wealth, but instead focusing on experiential purchases (rather than ‘stuff’ that appreciates in value), spending money to buy time, and even spending money to support family and relatives instead of ourselves (which may not be cost-effective, but can be remarkably happiness-effective!).” Five ways in which money can “buy” happiness:

- Buy Experiences, Not Stuff
- Make It a Treat
- Buy Time
- Buy Now, Enjoy Later (remember Lay-a-way?)

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