How can we buy happiness?
First, let me say that I enjoy watching Joshua Becker’s podcasts on minimalism, and reading the many articles he’s written over the years on living a simpler lifestyle. When I came across his podcast the other day about buying happiness, it made total sense. I’d like to share what I’ve learned. It made me think a little more about “stuff.”
Joshua states that “Once (financial) needs are met, more ‘stuff’ doesn’t make us happier. But money can help us be happier.” (I can hear some of you saying that money doesn’t buy happiness. I agree! But keep reading!)
In a study from Harvard and other colleges entitled “Experiences in Social Psychology,” the researchers found three uses where money spent increases well-being.
The places to spend money, according to the study, that increases happiness are experiences, pro-social spending/giving, and Buying Time.
Again, once financial needs are met, people tend to be happier purchasing experiences such as going to the zoo, going out to dinner, or going to a ball game with friends. Sharing experiences with friends and family brings more lasting happiness than physical possessions. There are more positive feelings associated with this type of “spending.”
The second place to spend money is pro-social spending/giving, such as giving to charity, or purchasing gifts for others. People report greater happiness through the joy of giving, which also seems to be fundamental in human nature. Happiness lasts longer when we do something for others. Money spent on ourselves is unrelated to happiness, compared to when we give.
The third area that increases our happiness is Buying Time…because time over money is important to many. When we buy time in the areas of having someone deliver groceries for us, clean our yard, clean our house, or mow the lawn, we experience less stress and greater life satisfaction. Time versus money is what we’re looking at, and having more time is significant.
So that’s it in a nutshell…three things to buy for making your life a bit more cheerful and a tad more stress-free.
Thanks for reading!