Regardless of income, research has shown that those who spend in certain ways find greater levels of contentment. Apparently, to spend your way to happiness, you should follow these rules of thumb:
1. Purchase more experiences, less "stuff."
Research from Dr. Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University reveals that spenders experience more long-term happiness and satisfaction when they buy experiences rather than possessions. A new watch or necklace increases happiness for a short while, but it soon becomes a routine part of the purchaser's environment, contributing little to happiness and possibly even inducing buyer's remorse.
However, dinner with friends, a Broadway play, or an Alaskan cruise creates valuable memories shared with others. Connection creates meaning, and we're more likely to bond with someone who also hiked the Appalachian trail than someone who purchased the same television.
2. Buy time.
You've heard that "money is time," and spending money to create more time is another expenditure that tends to raise happiness. If a promotion guarantees a higher income yet a much longer commute, it might not be a good deal. Not only is time a valuable non-renewable resource, but the more time you have, the more experiences you can enjoy.
3. Spend on others.
Studies by the Chicago Booth School of Business and the University of British Columbia found that people experienced more happiness when they spent money on others. The emotional rewards of social spending such as donating money to a food
bank were even tracked on MRI scans in a University of Oregon study, according to a WebMD article. Whether treating someone else to an experience or helping another - including giving to charities - it appears that money is best shared.
4. Save your way to happiness!
According to a survey of 1025 adults conducted by Ally Bank, the more money people have in savings, the happier they are! Those with savings accounts were 31% more likely to rank themselves as "extremely happy" or "very happy" than those without savings accounts. A notable 57% of those with $100,000 or more in savings describe themselves as "very happy" or "extremely happy," compared with only 34% of those with less than $20,000 in savings.
Those surveyed counted among the benefits of saving the ability to "face the unknown" (92%), "feel proud" (84%), "feel independent" (84%) and "realize life goals" (78%). The majority of participants (84%) ranked having money saved as more important to their sense of well-being than eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and having an enjoyable job.
Are you ready for more happiness?
We're here to help raise your satisfaction and your savings! Contact us today, we'd love to assist you with financial strategies than allow you to live, save and give in ways that give you joy and fulfillment.
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