Questions About Booking a
LAVIN Keynote Speaker?
1 800 265 4870
The Lavin Blog
Elizabeth Dunn: "Material Goods Often Fail To Deliver Lasting Happiness"
Economics | May 29, 2013

Elizabeth Dunn: "Material Goods Often Fail To Deliver Lasting Happiness"

"Rather than waiting to see whether you find $1 million under your mattress tomorrow, you can make yourself happier today," Elizabeth Dunn writes in a new L.A. Times article co-authored with Michael Norton. Drawing on research from Happy Money (the new book that Dunn and Norton just released), she explains how you can tap into the new science of spending and buy your way to a happier life. And, as Dunn says, the purchases that often bring us the most contentment are generally not what we'd expect. Nor is the amount of money you have to spend always a guarantee that a purchase will make you happier.

When faced with the question of how we'd spend a lump sum of unexpected cash, many of us immediately think of all the fancy material items we could buy for ourselves. A new car, a bigger house, a fancy rain shower head so we could suds-up in luxury. Turns out, as Dunn writes in The L.A. Times, "studies by a generation of behavioral scientists show that material goods often fail to deliver lasting happiness." In fact, she adds that "switching your spending to buying experiences—for both yourself and others—can lead to more happiness than even the most amazingly Amazonian rain shower." This can be as simple as treating a friend to a cup of coffee, Dunn says, because spending even a few dollars on someone else can be more fulfilling than spending a few hundred dollars on yourself. "So, diligently saving up for a down payment might not be such a good idea if it means skipping after-work beers with friends or your annual Valentine's Day celebration at a favorite restaurant," she writes. That's because Dunn found that renters weren't any less happy than homeowners, on average, according to a study of women in the United States.

Although some of her research may seem counter-intuitive to how most of us view money and spending, perhaps the most surprising finding is that "how we use our money may matter as much or more than how much of it we've got." That means you don't have to be a millionaire to reap the benefits of Happy Money. Or, if you do happen to be a millionaire, you can find just as much joy in the small purchases you share with others as the elaborate ones you make for yourself. In her writing and her widely applicable keynotes, Dunn cuts to the heart of two of our most widely sought after commodities: money and happiness. She shows us how the two can go hand-in-hand, and how individuals and corporations alike can turn their money into happy money.
Questions About Booking
Dr. Elizabeth Dunn?
Give Us a Call
Dr. Elizabeth  Dunn , keynote speaker Read More About Dr. Elizabeth Dunn
Sign up for our e-newsletter * Required
First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
I'm Interested In *