How Can Money Make You Happier? Spend It on Others: Elizabeth Dunn
Imagine three people each win $1 million in the lottery. Suppose one person attempts to buy every single thing he has ever wanted; one puts it all in the bank and uses the money only sparingly, for special occasions; and one gives it all to charity. At the end of the year, they all would report an additional $1 million of income. Many of us would follow the first person’s strategy, but the latter two winners are likely to get the bigger happiness bang for their buck.
These typical spending tendencies — buying more, and buying for ourselves — are ineffective at turning money into happiness. A decade of research has demonstrated that if you insist on spending money on yourself, you should shift from buying stuff (TVs and cars) to experiences (trips and special evenings out). Our own recent research shows that in addition to buying more experiences, you’re better served in many cases by simply buying less — and buying for others.
In fun and practical talks, Dr. Elizabeth Dunn expands her happiness and money talks to include applicable nuggets for companies to reconsider their relationship with both their employees and their customers. Elizabeth Dunn’s, Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending will be released in 2013—and it’ll be worth every penny!