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Money can buy happiness... I knew it!
Old 03-27-2015, 09:40 AM   #1
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Money can buy happiness... I knew it!

Six science-based ways that money actually CAN buy happiness

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There is growing research that denial of pleasures (when you have the budget for them) isn’t necessarily good for you.
And the book review: Harvard Researchers: Money Can Buy Happiness, Depending On How You Spend It

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His findings also offer readers advice on the actual science of spending, earning, saving, and investing, and how it is tied to emotional feelings such as happiness. “Basically each chapter is a different way to think about spending your money to get more happiness out of it,” he said. “Money matters, but social experiences and that feeling that you maybe had an impact on someone’s life—these are things that are helpful for your overall being.”
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:44 AM   #2
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Having money doesn't guarantee happiness but it sure can make it easier to obtain happiness.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:48 AM   #3
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I do wonder if too much money can destroy happiness though.

I think of it like playing a video game. In hard mode you may get killed so often that the game is unplayable. This would be like having no money.

In normal mode, you have fun engaging in the game actions and thinking about ways to efficiently reach your goals.

In easy mode, or god mode, everything is open to you but there are no real challenges. It is like playing solitaire except flipping over the entire deck and spreading it out for viewing.

Given a near infinite amount of money, I could see life getting fairly boring. Why bother building this or that when I can just pay someone to do it.

I think I would need to scale up my projects in a big way if I hit powerball. Probably I would attempt a private orbital rocket or a true AI.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:51 AM   #4
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The first one actually contradicts itself: anticipation causes happiness, not only the experience itself. So you are best off never actually going

Second one is really true!

Third has nothing to with money, just do sports! Same for four.

Five: better to do an act of kindness than to give money no? Makes it more real.

Six: Ok, got me there Although many women get upset with me when I try to pay their bill (no, I'm not trying to guilt you into anything ..).
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:52 AM   #5
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Fermion, that's a fantastic way to put it, I'm going to steal that and use it when the topic comes up with friends.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:57 AM   #6
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"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." -- Bo Derek

However, we all know more money buys diminishing returns. I think I can buy additional happiness with more money, up to about $5M. However, if I were there, I most likely would change my mind and wanted $10M.

Anyway, all the above talk is when one is healthy. When faced with potentially life-ending sickness, one can only think of the song "Dust in the Wind". "All your money won't another minute buy".
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:10 AM   #7
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1. Go on Vacation
2. Hire a Housekeeper
3. Pay for Sports
4. Indulge in Something Artistic
5. Give to Charity
6. Pick up the Check Now and Then
Pffft. This author isn't very convincing, to me at least. The last two involve giving it away, not actually spending it; there's a subtle difference that he isn't picking up on. As for the rest, there is more to life than sports, "art" (attendance at events), and vacation, and what INTJ wants a housekeeper hanging around?

My suggestion from the W2R point of view? Get a new metal side door with enclosed blinds and a keypad entry. That was my most amazing/happy/ thrilling purchase of 2014. It was totally selfish and brightens every single day for me.

If that doesn't do it for you, then what does? If you don't quite know yet, then I guess you just have to bite the bullet and do some introspection to figure out what will. Many people would do anything to avoid introspecting, IMO, but it helps here and there.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:12 AM   #8
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1. Go on Vacation - haha, yeah right, I w*rk for a living
2. Hire a Housekeeper - DWs jerb
3. Pay for Sports - I play golf and have a few flat screens scattered about
4. Indulge in Something Artistic - huh?
5. Give to Charity - ever heard of AMT?
6. Pick up the Check Now and Then - what check would that be?
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:19 AM   #9
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In the simple cases of lottery winners, I think the sudden appearance of money rarely buys true lasting happiness. OTOH, if you're struggling to support your family and not making stupid decisions (you know, living beyond your means) then happiness can be a tad harder than if you have some surplus.

The real issue for DW and I, and I think others here from the posts, is balancing the happiness of spending money and the relative security of hoarding it. We spent about 5 years struggling through college, then the next 30 or so gradually increasing income and savings, and when one major career change happened we committed the newfound income to what was then a generic deferred income plan. Over the years I'd guess we saved an average of 20% gross income, most of it in tax deferred 457 and 401k. Never any real matches. Look out minimum WD.

As my career lost its appeal (and I did enjoy it up until last few years) I started to realize we'd probably overdone the LBYM thing, yet we didn't seem to be denying ourselves anything we truly wanted or saw value in. The ability of accessing a pension appeared (although there was a steep buy in for time) and given all sources we simply can't spend more than about 70% of our income on things that have meaning for us.

Now that we're both retired almost 4 years, we're adjusting to a much less frugal life, and what's interesting is that it in fact does seem to be bringing more happiness. While I still tab all the expenses every few days and watch the portfolio every so often, I'm just learning to not care so much about it. When you can buy stuff and do things that cost money but you finally become comfortable that yes, we DO have enough money to cover this with a good cushion, it does lead you (at least us) to more happiness. Not that we were ever Unhappy before in any way. We got a boost in our efforts the day we placed MIL in hospice, and as we lunched discussed how at 89 she had outlived the other 3 parents by15-19 years. Both my parents smoking related, but regardless, time is limited.

We're all different, I'm sure buying new cars every year, making payments, and not saving for retirement can make some folks ecstatically happy. For us, if we'd spent money to buy happiness (that statement doesn't make sense; we were happy and didn't really want anything) then we wouldn't have the financial security that .... makes us really happy. Which I guess means money can buy happiness; spending money is a different thing. We're learning how to do the latter slowly.

Just re-read this. What a ramble
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:27 AM   #10
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I do wonder if too much money can destroy happiness though.

Definitely. Seen it happen to the best of us: children fighting for their parents inheritance, getting into drug habit, putting oneself above poorer friends/relatives and getting shunned as a result, getting greedier and greedier to a point of money accumulation driving one's life, ....


".... money, money, money, always funny, in a rich man's world." - ABBA.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:31 AM   #11
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Just re-read this. What a ramble
Good ramble. I can related to it. Take it up a notch and post it on a "rant" thread.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:32 AM   #12
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".... money, money, money, always funny, in a rich man's world." - ABBA.

Grrr, thanks a lot. Now I am going to be humming "Take a chance on me" all day.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:37 AM   #13
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I always thought this was an amusing take on the question:

"Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it."
David Lee Roth
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:39 AM   #14
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... My suggestion from the W2R point of view? Get a new metal side door with enclosed blinds and a keypad entry. That was my most amazing/happy/ thrilling purchase of 2014. It was totally selfish and brightens every single day for me.

If that doesn't do it for you, then what does? ...
No house keeper for me either. But my desire for business class seats for travel would cost a lot more than hired help for house cleaning.

And how about that 4'x6' shower you often talked about?

You made me go measure my shower, and it is not 4'x6'. I never felt that I would want something larger, but now you made me wonder if I was missing something.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:04 AM   #15
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interesting. DH and I actually now do all of the recommended things. I am happy but no more so than I ever was (I am usually very happy--Ignorance Was Bliss will be on my tombstone) and really he is no happier than he ever was. I will have to tell him he can feel happier thanks to the research....
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:19 AM   #16
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Having money does not mean you can do everything, however, having no money usually means you can do nothing.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:21 AM   #17
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1. Go on Vacation
2. Hire a Housekeeper
3. Pay for Sports
4. Indulge in Something Artistic
5. Give to Charity
6. Pick up the Check Now and Then

I do agree with #4. I play in a few bands and get a lot of enjoyment making music with like-minded people.

As for paying for sports...I paid $50 once to run a half-marathon and didn't see the point in doing that again when I can step out the door and run for free. I do pay for the occasional round of golf, though.

I'd probably get more satisfaction from cleaning the house myself than paying someone to do it. As a general rule, I do all my own cleaning and as many repairs and renos as possible.

I pick up the cheque very now and then...but so do the people I hang with. In the long run, it's a wash. I have no interest at all in picking up the cheque for people who will never reciprocate or who I will never see again.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:24 AM   #18
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I do agree with #4. I play in a few bands and get a lot of enjoyment making music with like-minded people.
sitting around the patio with your bros playing townes van Zandt (or willy, waylon, steve earle, Robert earl keen or whatever) songs doesn't cost anything, well, except for the beverages
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:29 AM   #19
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No house keeper for me either. But my desire for business class seats for travel would cost a lot more than hired help for house cleaning.

And how about that 4'x6' shower you often talked about?

You made me go measure my shower, and it is not 4'x6'. I never felt that I would want something larger, but now you made me wonder if I was missing something.
IIRC mine is 22"x30", small enough that my elbows hit the walls of it if I am not careful. Maybe I'm over-reacting in wanting one that is 4'x6'. Right now I am searching for my dream house, and among other improved attributes, hopefully it will either have my dream shower or can be more easily modified to have it. If I find my dream house, the first thing I'll do to it is have a side door with keypad entry installed.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:41 AM   #20
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songs doesn't cost anything, well, except for the beverages
Yup...that's why I have this:

marshall fridge.jpg

marshall fridge 2.jpg

marshall fridge 3.jpg
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