Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Can money buy happiness?

In a long-term study by Harvard, researchers found that close relationships, more than money or fame, is what makes people happy. But new research is showing that even though how much money you have doesn’t matter, what you spend it on does.

“When people prioritize positivity in those ways we found that they experienced more positive emotions in daily life, have better mental health, they actually extract more positive emotions out of everyday situations," said Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill.

But does money help? A study published in the proceedings of the national academy of sciences found that people who spent money to on time-saving purchases, such as ordering takeout food, hiring household help, taking a cab, or paying someone to run an errand, reported greater overall life satisfaction.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia gave study participants $40 on two weekends to either spend on timesaving purchases, or material purchases such as fancy wine or clothes. The people who spent the money on timesaving purchases reported feeling less stressed and had increased well-being.

Consider moving around that budget, and make time for the people and things that make life worth living.

A survey of 1,800 Americans from the Harvard business school also concluded that it did not matter whether the person was rich or poor. Spending money on things that save time always resulted in greater life satisfaction.

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