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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).
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.
The debate about how material belongings can get in the way of our happiness dates back hundreds of years:
Today, the question of whether money can bring us happiness remains a subject of intense debate.
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.
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.
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