Do you think we would be happier if we earned more money? What about spending? Will we become happier individuals if we spend most of our money on ourselves?

It might seem to us that the more money we earn, the happier we become, but it’s not that simple. Four studies were done to see what the relationship between spending money and happiness is, and the results may not be what you think.

They asked over 600 Americans to:
1. Say how happy they were in general
2. How much of their income they spent on themselves (bills and gifts)
3. How much they spent on oth

Higher prosocial spending (spending money on others) increased happiness.
Personal spending was unrelated to happiness, after basic needs had been met.
How much we earn and how much we spend on others seem to have a similar effect on our happiness.

They examined the happiness of 16 employees before and after receiving a bonus:

They gave 46 people some money ($5 or $20):
1. They told some of them to spend it on themselves.
2. They asked the other group to spend it on a gift for someone or to donate it to charity.

Again, the second group reported higher happiness levels.
The amount of money didn’t matter at all. In other words, it didn’t matter if they had spent $5 or $20- people who spent it on others were significantly happier than those who spent it on themselves.

They asked 109 students to select which condition would make them happier.

The majority of people thought personal spending would bring them more happiness.
Most of them thought more money meant more happiness.

Through this article, we saw that how we spend our money is at least as important as how much we make.

It might not seem so at first, but we can indirectly buy happiness for ourselves. It’s not about the amount of money or personal spending, though. Because, at some point in our personal spending, we tend to purchase “things” that don’t provide lasting happiness.

Spending money on others, on the other hand, is lasting- money as little as $5 is enough to give us nontrivial gains in happiness on a given day.

We can choose to be more active in our community and to give back, so we’re able to become happier individuals in the long run!

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