Dec 15, 2009
Buy Some Happiness Today :o)
The good news: It doesn't matter how much you make, because you can spend as little as $5 to get happy. But there's a catch: In order for your money to make you happy, you've got to spend it on others. Not yourself. Sounds like the perfect reason to pick up a little "extra something" for a loved one or co-worker.
The connection between your wallet and your happiness isn't as complex as you might think. "We found that while it might make you happy 'in the moment,' despite popular belief, spending money on big ticket items like new cars, jewelry or on vacations doesn't contribute to sustained happiness," says lead researcher, University of British Columbia assistant professor Elizabeth Dunn, PhD. And, using a year-end or holiday bonus to pay off bills isn't the path to happiness either.
Dunn's team found people are "significantly happier" when spending "pro-socially" on gifts for friends and family, or in charitable donations. Much more so than when spending money on bills or big-ticket or luxury items. An added bonus: This kind of spending creates happiness that lasts six to eight weeks, says Dunn, much longer than other forms of spending, which can make you happy for just a few weeks, or even a few hours.
So buy co-worker a sandwich, or a loved one their favorite candy bar, or send a card to a friend. It is the little things that count :o)