deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

How to spend your money for maximum happiness

https://www.popsci.com/story/science/how-to-spend-money-happiness

popsci.com

How to spend your money for maximum happiness
Today, the average American family spends about 50 percent of their income on necessities like food and shelter, compared to almost 80 percent in 1901. But though the things we buy might make us happy in the moment, that feeling atrophies over time. Here's how to actually be happy with your purchases.

7

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Money And Happiness

Money And Happiness

The debate about how material belongings can get in the way of our happiness dates back hundreds of years:

  • The Buddha talked about a balance between asceticism and pleasure.
  • Early Christian monasticism preached spiritual transformation through simple living.
  • Philosopher Lao Tzu warned that if you chase after money, “your heart will never unclench.”

Today, the question of whether money can bring us happiness remains a subject of intense debate.

139 SAVES

1.03k READS

VIEW

The Hedonic Treadmill

The things we buy might make us happy in the moment, but that feeling fades away over time. This phenomenon is called the “hedonic treadmill."

We get used to things that we have, and when new, more attractive things catch our eye, we feel like we need to keep getting more stuff to maintain those feelings.

178 SAVES

907 READS

Money: Happiness Vs Misery

  • Happiness is a really difficult topic to study, because it’s subjective, unstable, and intangible.
  • Affluence has a certain impact on our well-being when it comes to satisfying our basic needs and standard of living, but in general, research shows that it is a weak predictor of happiness.
  • Researchers agree on is this: there are ways to spend our money that are more likely to elicit joy.

140 SAVES

741 READS

Time Famine

Time famine is something experienced by people across all income levels.

People who feel time-constrained are more stressed, less likely to spend time helping others, and less active. This is also one of the main reasons people give to explain why they’re not exercising regularly or eating well.

176 SAVES

783 READS

Buying Time

Buying time can increase our sense of control and, ultimately, our feelings of well-being. For example: hiring someone to clean the house for us, ordering takeout instead of cooking, or paying extra for a direct flight.

But we are less likely to benefit from buying time when we focus on its economic value (something we’re more likely to do if we have less money to spend).

155 SAVES

691 READS

Treat Time As A Commodity

People who think of their time as a limited resource are more likely to derive joy from life’s simple pleasures (talking to a friend for example).

Also, if you’re spending money on a time-saving purchase, use those extra minutes to do something that lifts your mood.

161 SAVES

749 READS

Invest In Experiences

  • Even this may not sound like a practical thing to do, an intangible experience can often bring you joy for longer than a physical object.
  • Experiences are short-lived, but not in a psychological sense. They live on in our memories, they live on in the stories we recall and tell - they get more satisfying over time, but material goods only decrease.
  • We also get boosts of pleasure from planning and anticipating experiences (vacations, for example).
  • Another benefit of investing in experiences is that they inspire us to engage in more altruistic behaviors.

168 SAVES

747 READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Adaptation and happiness

Adaptation is the enemy of happiness.

We buy things to make us happy. And they do, but only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.

Experiences vs. Objects

Objects fade and become part of the new normal. So you’ll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling. 

Experiences really are part of ourselves. We are the sum total of our experiences.

Shared experiences

They connect us more than shared consumption.

Even if someone wasn’t with you when you had a particular experience, you’re much more likely to bond over both having hiked the Appalachian Trail or seeing the same show than you are over both owning Fitbits.

The Rush of Motivation

During the first week of the new year, there is a rush of motivated people who want to achieve their respective self-improvement goals. But then all this rush always tapers off, with only about 8 %...

Procrastinating

Procrastination, or the way we let pending tasks linger on, just avoiding them, is one of the main reasons our goals don't materialize.

The longer any work is avoided the harder it becomes to eventually do it.

Like dishes piling up in the kitchen sink, they get harder and harder to do as the load increases.

Fear as the Cause of Inaction

Fear causes us to procrastinate. It can be:

  • Fear of change
  • Fear of leaving our comfort zone
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of what other people would think of us

We justify these fears by imaginary different reasons, but the root cause is not related to our invented reasons, it is our inherent fear.

5 more ideas

Increasing your well-being

A growing body of research shows we can reliably raise our well-being.

Reframing the way we think about money and making financial decisions can lead to long-term gains in life satisfaction.&...

Two categories of happiness

  • The level of positive emotions. This includes pride, joy, contentment, and curiosity we experience on a day-to-day basis. How happy you are on an immediate basis fluctuates by the day or even the hour.
  • The overarching sense of contentment. How happy you are overall, generally remains the same. When you rate your happiness on a 10-point scale, if you are a seven kind of person, you will often stay around seven.

Buy time

Buying time by outsourcing unpleasant or disliked tasks can benefit our well-being. 

Unfortunately, we're not great at valuing time over money. To change our spending habits, it helps to value time more than money. It could mean that we seek a job for its flexibility rather than the salary and prestige.