If Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, What Does?

5-Free-Summer-Clipart-Illustration-Of-A-Happy-Smiling-SunDo you think that having lots of money leads to happiness?

Think again!

Study after study shows that more money’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Once our finances cover the basics, our happiness doesn’t increase with our income.

What Does Buy Happiness?

According to Michael Norton in his TED talk, How Can I Buy Happiness?, your happiness is linked not to how much money you have, but rather how you choose to spend it.

Simply put, when you spend money on someone else, you get a happiness boost; when you spend money on yourself, you don’t.

It’s not that spending money on yourself makes you unhappy — it’s just that doing so won’t give you that same surge of pleasure.

The Reward of Giving to Others

It turns out that we’re wired to be social and to do things for other people. The act of being generous triggers something in our brains that feels good.

So if you’re feeling lousy today, do something nice for someone else and you’re likely to feel better.

I must confess to having trouble selecting great gifts for people, but even gifts that aren’t perfect seem to work just as well when it comes to creating happiness!

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Spend A Little Money on Someone Else

This weekend, set aside some money ($5, $10 or a little more) to spend on someone else. Give it to a stranger in need, buy a gift for a friend, or donate it to an organization you like. Pay careful attention to feeling your gift-giving generates within.

If you discover that your happiness increases when you give to others, do it more often and savor the pleasure.

Have you ever given a gift to someone that filled you with intense joy? Share your story about giving in the comments.