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Is happiness something that can be bought with money? Find out with these useful tips towards a more fulfilling life.

Can money buy happiness after all

If you are in the position to have some money spent on purely pleasurable things, you are faced with a huge variety of things to spend on. Research shows that the type of decisions you make in this area affects your mental state. Let’s see what you can do to make sure that the effect is positive. 

Invest in experiences. We may often feel reluctant to spend money on activities. Paying for something that will last a few minutes or hours or buying a new jacket that you’ll be wearing for the next few years – for most of us, the choice seems obvious. A study held in Texas, however, proves that the opposite is a better choice. People that were given orders to spend a certain amount of money per week on experiences reported feeling happier than those that were told to buy material goods. 

The explanation behind this is rather simple, although not obvious. You will get used to your jacket very quickly, so it will stop bringing you joy. Activities, on the other hand, diversify the spectrum of emotions we feel and provide extra satisfaction from the anticipation that precedes them. Another study shows that anticipation of a material purchase doesn’t bring the same amount of pleasure that waiting for an activity does. And you get happy memories as a bonus. 

Some material things create experiences too. Buying a board game will give you an extra reason to meet with your friends, or buying a skateboard will give you an opportunity to acquire a new hobby. These are all examples of experiences that will bring you happiness for a long time.  

Give and share. This is another question with a seemingly obvious answer: does it feel better to give or receive gifts? A psychological study held by a US-based professor shows that people who spend money on someone else feel happier and better about themselves. Moreover, it was discovered that people who spend the highest percentage of their income (regardless of the amount) on others are happier on average. 

Buy beforehand. It might seem inconvenient, but if you can afford to spend money on a concert that will take place in 5 months or a trip that you’re planning for next year, it will enhance the pleasure you will get from these events. The trick is that this method creates an illusion of getting these things for free. By the time you will be going to the concert, you will long forget that you even spent anything on tickets and will not feel the displeasure of parting with your hard-earned money. Instead, you will be fully enjoying the gift from your past self.

This also works vice versa, which is why you should avoid buying this on credit. The joy of purchase will quickly fade, but the reoccurring payments will feel like a burden for quite a long while. 

It’s about small things, too. Another helpful study shows that people tend to buy themselves gifts whenever they feel unhappy. In most cases, people intentionally go shopping to cheer themselves up whenever they feel down. Small gifts may not affect your happiness long-term, but they bring joy in the moment. And what is life if not a sequence of moments? Make them pleasurable to live through. 

Spend money on money. You will be able to considerably improve the quality of your life if you spend a portion of your income to generate more income. Once you see that you have a serious sum saved up, look for a way to invest that you like, and make your money multiply. Whatever you choose, whether it’s real estate, trading, or a personal business, you will feel a lot of joy the moment your money turns to profit. Especially, compared to when it was ineffectively stored in your savings account. If you’re ready to explore this option right now, visit and start living a happier life today. 

If you can’t buy, rent. Some psychologists recommend renting things you can’t afford instead of dreading your everyday life and dreaming of the day you will be able to have a private villa or a sports car. Rent a villa or a sports car for the weekend. Or do both. Live through the experience. Enjoy it. Then go back to your life feeling inspired to move towards your goal. 

Let yourself relax. If you don’t have fixed working hours, it’s easy to get carried away and start working 24/7. It quickly becomes a habit to count how much money you’re losing whenever you’re going out for a coffee, taking a nap, or watching Netflix. This, unsurprisingly, takes all the pleasure out of things you do. Let yourself enjoy life and don’t make money your number one life priority. 

Cutting down on things feels good, too. If you’re in a position that requires you to save up and abstain from certain simple life pleasures, you might feel a little too restricted and unfulfilled. This, however, doesn’t have to be the case. An act of actively thinking about reasons to enjoy the things we already own can increase and prolong the happiness these items bring us. You can also look for ways to recycle and upcycle them, which will definitely boost the value they bring into your life. 

All in all, be smart about your budget and honest about your values. Perhaps, some of these things are not applicable to you, and that’s completely fine. There is no universal code to improving your mental state. Discovering what brings you true joy is a journey that is personal and different for everyone. Make sure you enjoy yours to the fullest. 

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