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Money can actually buy you happiness. Here's how to get it.

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.

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Money can actually buy you happiness. Here's how to get it.

Money can actually buy you happiness. Here's how to get it.

https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/11/13/20951937/money-experiences-buy-happiness-happy-how-to-spend

vox.com

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Key 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. Just having money doesn’t necessarily mean greater happiness, but using it well can.

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.

Spend money on experiences

Psychologically, the effect of buying stuff is less valuable. Experiences are often better investments, as they encourage meaningful memories and connections that have a lasting impact.

Give money away

A series of experiments found people are happier after spending money on others versus on themselves. It is not that spending money on yourself doesn't feel good - it just doesn't seem to last for long.

By giving money away, you not only make other people happy, but you also make yourself happier.

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Concerns with positive psychology
  • There are worries about its replicability and unreliable self-reports.
  • Promoting material achievement as part of happiness can make well-being seem out of reach.
  • Positive psych...
Reasons for popularity

There is no major conclusion in positive psychology that has not been challenged, modified or even rejected.

Yet the fact that positive psychology is becoming more popular means that it gives hope, optimism and perhaps happiness to millions of its consumers.

The beginning of positive psychology

The story of positive psychology started just 20 years ago with Martin Seligman, head of the American Psychological Association. The idea he considered was: What if every person was encouraged to nurture his or her character strengths, rather than being scolded into fixing their shortcomings?

He reorientated the entire discipline of psychology away from mostly treating mental illness and toward human flourishing, then used his authority to promote it.

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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.

3 Financial Basics
  1. Create a Financial Calendar: prevent yourself from forgetting quarterly tax payments and to get credit reports.
  2. Check Your Interest Rate: Pay off loans, open saving accou...
Budgeting Like a Pro
  • Consider an All-Cash Diet, as limiting yourself to physical currency combats overspending.
  • Set aside 1 minute a day to check on your financial transactions, to identify problems, track goal progress and set your spending tone.
  • Allocate at least 20% of your income to financial priorities like emergency funds, debts and retirement fund.
  • Budget about 30% of your income for nonbasic spendings, like entertainment. Abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.
How to Get Money Motivated
  • Draft a Financial Vision Board, it motivates and helps you to stay on track with your financial goals.
  • Set specific financial goals stating the reason, the way, numbers and dates.
  • Adopt a spending mantra, a phrase that serves as a rule of thumb for how you spend.
  • Love yourself. Taking control of your finances is part of that.
  • Make bite-size money goals. Make the bigger ones but also small step goals to get there.
  • Don’t be a financial fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
  • Get your finances and body in shape. The discipline associated with regular exercising translates to managing your money well.
  • Appreciate what you have now, instead of being a consumerist.
  • Get a Money Buddy. Studies indicate people pick up good habits from friends with similar traits.

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