Happy Money

It turns out money can buy you happiness, if you spend it right.

Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor, and Michael Norton, a marketing professor, wrote a book called Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.  They make some thought provoking points about how you can use your money to make you happier.  Fortunately, it doesn’t completely negate my post about happiness and money (see post: Happiness and Winning the Lottery), since they take the focus off of buying material things to improve your life.

1. Buy experiences, because they are more likely to make you feel connected to others (see post: The Happiness Secret).
2. Make it a special treat, otherwise you’ll get used to it and it won’t be special anymore (see post: Happiness and Hedonic Adaptation).
3. Buy time by paying someone to do a task for you so you use that time to do something you love.
4. Pay now, consume later – this gives you time to excitedly anticipate what you’ve bought, and also separate the pain of payment from the joy of the thing/experience.
5. Invest in others – spending money on other people makes us feel good about ourselves (see posts: Happiness and Physical Health, Happiness is Contagious, and Happiness and Gifting).

So now that you know the secrets to buying happiness, you can go win the lottery with a light heart.  Good luck!


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