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Scientists reveal money CAN buy you happiness; here's how

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 15 March 2018, 15:43 IST

The phrase 'Money doesn't buy happiness' has been engraved in our mind since eternity. Even if people didn't keep telling you that, you've been assured of the same from insights into the lives of extremely wealthy people with drug or alcohol addiction, depression, or even suicidal tendencies. You may even have experienced it yourself when that last raise or bonus didn't increase your own happiness. Neither did the extra money in your bank account or the new gadget or nice piece of clothing you splurged on.

But before you give up on money as a source of pleasure, you should know that a scientific research has revealed that money CAN actually buy happiness. However, ONLY if you're following the strategies listed below:

1. Spend it on extra time

A fascinating study showed that people who value time over money are happier than those who don't. So go ahead and hire that housekeeper or virtual assistant, and splurge for that grocery delivery service. It's highly likely that you'll be glad you did.

2. Spend it on a great experience

We tend to assume it's wiser to spend money on things--especially things that might appreciate in value--rather than fun. After all, if you spend Rs92,000 on the new iPhone today, you'll still have it the next day and the day after. However, if you spend that some on business class seats, the next day, you'll have nothing. Researchers at San Francisco State University discovered that although people tend to believe that buying physical things will make them happier for longer than spending money on experiences because physical things last longer. On the other hand, experiences may not last as long as things, but the pleasure they cause lasts longer.

3.Spend it with someone you care about

Human beings are social by nature and there's plenty of evidence that both a healthy relationship with a significant other and feeling part of a community can help in the longevity of life. Social psychologists believe that experiences when shared with a friend, partner, or family member make us happier than things we often share them. So if you do decide to go on an expensive adventure make sure to bring someone along whose company you enjoy. And if you really must buy that new phone, bring someone along on your shopping trip.

4. You spend it on someone else

If you think about our social orientation--giving money away or spending it on someone else makes us feel more connected to others. (As well as proud of our own generosity.) The thanks and warm fuzzies we get from the recipient of our largesse is likely to make us feel good as well. So go ahead and buy that nice present or make that charitable donation. You'll be making yourself happier, as well as others.


5. Spend within your means

While wealth doesn't necessarily bring happiness, worry over excessive debt and having trouble paying your bills will definitely make you unhappy. If you spend more than you can afford, even on experiences or gifts, the stress you'll feel as a result will most likely outweigh any pleasure the money gave you. So don't go there. Make sure you have enough money to cover your bills, plus unexpected expenses, before you spend it on experiences, gifts, or even objects. Whether or not money makes you happy, make sure it doesn't make you miserable.

First published: 15 March 2018, 15:42 IST