Money and Happiness
What would you do if you were given a free sum of money or a raise at work? We all know that money can’t make us happy, but it can bring us closer to a joyful existence, right?
Neither, according to psychologist and University of British Columbia professor Elizabeth Dunn, Ph.D., who wrote Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. In the end, “it appears that what you do with your money tends to contribute just as much to your happiness as how much you earn,” she adds, which is excellent news for those of us who don’t have a surprise windfall or promotion in our near futures.
We’ve compiled six interesting statistics and practical advice to help you make the most of your resources.
Let the six-figure job go.
It’s clear to Dunn that “wealth and happiness are linked.” “However, it turns out that money doesn’t purchase as much happiness as people think.”
While money can purchase pleasure up to a certain amount, in other aspects, it doesn’t: For the most part, Princeton University researchers found that emotional well-being—is defined by the frequency of emotions such as pleasure and rage as well as feelings of attachment and sadness—increased with wage.
Furthermore, individuals continued to express satisfaction with their lives, but they did not seem happier daily.
Buy memories, not goods.
Even though material objects remain longer, a 2014 research from San Francisco State University found that life experiences, such as vacations, expensive meals, and spa treatments, bring more joy.
For the most part, consumers perceived the intangibles as superior use of their money after purchases of both sorts, according to the Research.
According to them, an experience must be tailored to a person to be beneficial; for example, a Broadway production may not appeal to someone who doesn’t like show tunes.
Donate to a worthy cause.
Charitable giving has a clear association with happiness “that is virtually comparable to a double in family income,” adds Dunn, who cites Gallup World Poll findings.
She argues that the way you contribute counts well since you’ll feel better about supporting a cause or a buddy when you assist them. (In other words, get on board with the Ice Bucket Challenge, at least in donating money!)
Pay it off now.
The misery may drain the joy of consuming of paying for it,” adds Dunn. A workaround for this, perhaps? If you’re thrilled about something, preorder it or buy credit for a service you can use later.
Put money down as early as possible, even if you won’t get to enjoy it right now. She goes on to say, “Research reveals that what is in the future is considerably more emotionally evocative than what lies in the past.
In our minds, it’s as if we’ve already forgotten that we spent money on anything in the past.
Make thoughtful presents.
According to Dunn’s study, spending money on others, particularly those you care about, is one of the happiest things you can do with your money.
Some studies have shown a correlation between spending $5 on someone else’s well-being and one’s well-being. Thought is essential, too: Both the donor and the recipient feel pleased when the present is an appropriate match for their personality.
A debit card is better than a credit card.
Anxiety and despair are common side effects of being overextended in one’s credit card debt. Even if avoiding all debt is difficult, debit cards instead of credit cards for routine expenditures might help you avoid getting further into debt.
It’s “better plastic” to use debit cards, argues Dunn. Credit cards are more convenient, but they come with many long-term drawbacks, whereas debit cards don’t.