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How to Spend your Money for Maximum Happiness...
Old 02-07-2021, 01:32 PM   #1
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How to Spend your Money for Maximum Happiness...

I am sharing this as food for thought for anyone interested, there is no be-all and end-all answer to the question FWIW - and the article doesn't pretend to have such an answer. DW and I are reading about such things, remains to be seen if we change our spending habits much if at all (yes, first world problem). I often think about having nicer cars, but I'm never really tempted to follow through.

And to be honest it mostly reinforces much of what I've read on this forum over many years, not a big surprise.

https://www.popsci.com/story/science...ney-happiness/

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Years of behavioral and psychological research have given us insight into how to splurge optimally.

So does money bring us happiness, or is it the root of our misery? It’s complicated. Financial security certainly influences our well-being when it comes to satisfying our basic needs and standard of living, but in general, research shows affluence is a weak predictor of happiness. Today, the average American family spends about 50 percent of their income on necessities like food and shelter, compared to almost 80 percent in 1901.

What most experts can agree on is this: there are ways to spend our money that are more likely to elicit joy. So next time a commercial has you itching to pull out your wallet, hit pause and consider these three tips on where to invest your cash.
Time is precious—buy yourself some more of it
Invest in experiences
Spend on others

Focus on human connection

So is shifting our spending habits away from material things the key to bliss? Despite a sea of research, there’s still no tidy answer. Happiness is notoriously difficult to study; it’s subjective, unstable, and intangible. But one common thread consistently comes up in the research: the power of human connection to elicit joy.

“Purchases that help to foster our social relationships—those are the purchases that are most likely to bring us longer-lasting, more enduring happiness,” Kumar says.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean spending all your money on family vacations: sometimes material purchases are vehicles for social connection. The idea is to invest more in experiences than in possessions, Gilovich explains, but sometimes the latter can facilitate the former. “There are things sort of in the middle,” he says. “You buy a new bike, you get together with a bunch of cyclists, and you cycle regularly.” His advice: when you’re buying something, ask yourself how likely you are to use it with other people.

Kumar agrees. “One of the mistakes that people can make is that they think that material goods are a better financial investment, that they’ll last,” he says. But the material goods that pack the biggest punch are the ones that beget social experiences.

For him, the recipe for better spending is simple: “Positive social relationships are essential to human happiness—spend money in ways that advance your social relationships [and try to] minimize making comparisons to other people.”
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:09 PM   #2
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Midpack, thanks for this article, I liked it and agree with it. For me and my DH--we have some charities we are involved with that mean a great deal to us. We get great satisfaction from spending our money to support those charities.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:12 PM   #3
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Spending doesn't make me happier, no matter who it is for.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:15 PM   #4
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Spending doesn't make me happier, no matter who it is for.
now I know haw you got your name--"Mr Tightwad"! What does make you happy?
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:17 PM   #5
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Interesting, although, with certain exceptions (a visit to family, a gift for DGDs), my spending does not intentionally revolve around maximizing my happiness.

For example a charitable donation does not necessarily "elicit joy." Rather, sometimes it makes me a bit sad because I am thinking about someone else who is suffering, (who needs it more than I do); other times perhaps a feeling of doing what needs to be done (i.e., if I don't do this who will?).

Seeing other people happy, or hearing about something good that has happened to someone else tends to "elicit joy."
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:19 PM   #6
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Nice topic midpack. Thanks for bringing it up.

I think people of faith would agree with the big conclusions listed in the article. Human relationships and social connections matter. Itís almost like God made us that way. The Bible certainly speaks to this.

As for me personally, while I certainly can be materialistic, Iíve always preferred spending money on family based experiences (vacations). For me, those stick out as life and relationship highlights.

I look forward to otherís responses.

Muir
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:36 PM   #7
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now I know haw you got your name--"Mr Tightwad"! What does make you happy?
My daughters, my low BP #'s, my BMI, collecting rent, my stocks going up, buying more when they don't, occasionally my 3 mile runs, finding money on the ground ( a dime yesterday), winning sports bets, eating healthy, a smidge of ice cream/chocolate covered walnuts, naps, not paying alimony, my vehicles, thriller/suspense on Netflix for free, YouTube, cool weather, Darn Tough socks, and last but most definitely not the least my 2 dogs.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mr. Tightwad View Post
My daughters, my low BP #'s, my BMI, collecting rent, my stocks going up, buying more when they don't, occasionally my 3 mile runs, finding money on the ground ( a dime yesterday), winning sports bets, eating healthy, a smidge of ice cream/chocolate covered walnuts, naps, not paying alimony, my vehicles, thriller/suspense on Netflix for free, YouTube, cool weather, Darn Tough socks, and last but most definitely not the least my 2 dogs.

Well, I donít know about your blood pressure, but Darn Tough socks are definitely worth getting happy over!
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:08 PM   #9
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My daughters, my low BP #'s, my BMI, collecting rent, my stocks going up, buying more when they don't, occasionally my 3 mile runs, finding money on the ground ( a dime yesterday), winning sports bets, eating healthy, a smidge of ice cream/chocolate covered walnuts, naps, not paying alimony, my vehicles, thriller/suspense on Netflix for free, YouTube, cool weather, Darn Tough socks, and last but most definitely not the least my 2 dogs.

Hah. All good stuff. Love my Darn Tough socks. 2 winters ago DW and I made a pilgrimage to their annual outlet sale at the factory in VT. Sounds silly but we bought something like 42 pairs of socks for a total of about $280. Which as anyone knows their quality and prices was a huge deal. Something like 75% off retail. I think I have enough to last 10-15 years before i need to go back. I wear them about 7-8 months a year and just use cotton white athletic socks all summer.
Oh and +1 on the dogs as well.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:15 PM   #10
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Well, I don’t know about your blood pressure, but Darn Tough socks are definitely worth getting happy over!
+2!
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:28 PM   #11
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well, i donít know about your blood pressure, but darn tough socks are definitely worth getting happy over!
103/63
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:31 PM   #12
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Hah. All good stuff. Love my Darn Tough socks. 2 winters ago DW and I made a pilgrimage to their annual outlet sale at the factory in VT. Sounds silly but we bought something like 42 pairs of socks for a total of about $280. Which as anyone knows their quality and prices was a huge deal. Something like 75% off retail. I think I have enough to last 10-15 years before i need to go back. I wear them about 7-8 months a year and just use cotton white athletic socks all summer.
Oh and +1 on the dogs as well.
They have a lifetime warranty. Just bring them in and they replace. No questions asked.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:33 PM   #13
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Travel made us happy, while we were able to do it.

I'm torn about "buying more time." I would like to hire a housecleaning service, but after my few experiences with them, I envision going through one after another and not really liking the way they do things (much as I feel about yard services. Everything is so one-size-fits-all, slam-bam-pay-me-ma'am).
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:37 PM   #14
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Travel made us happy, while we were able to do it.

I'm torn about "buying more time." I would like to hire a housecleaning service, but after my few experiences with them, I envision going through one after another and not really liking the way they do things (much as I feel about yard services. Everything is so one-size-fits-all, slam-bam-pay-me-ma'am).
I wondered what, "buy more time" meant. If this is it, I'm all for that. But, I must admit that I sometimes do it slowly (and grudgingly?) even though I can afford it. It's that LBYM streak I'm sure.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:39 PM   #15
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:54 PM   #16
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They have a lifetime warranty. Just bring them in and they replace. No questions asked.

That's only on the ones you by at retail or 1st quality. The outlet sales are seconds(though I have found nothing wrong with them) and don't get the warranty but I'm ok with that.
Plus DW and I had a nice excuse to travel up thru VT and then eat lunch at a great Italian place in Montpelier just up the road a bit.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:56 PM   #17
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I think the 3rd pic by OP might be me. I've given my stimulus to Kids & grandkids, PJ Library, and the food bank. Gives me pleasure as I don't need it / am fortunate enough to have not been negatively affected by the financial downturn (profited)
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Old 02-07-2021, 04:05 PM   #18
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There was also that recent study that determined after a certain income level happiness didn't increase much. I think it had mostly to do with being able to meet all you financial obligations with out worry. I believe the number a few years ago was around $75,000 /year.
Doesn't mean that having more was a negative and certainly having more earlier so that one could possibly ER would in essence be the "buying time" portion.
I think the gist of it is too not get too obsessed with being "rich" at the cost of other items and relationships in your life.
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Old 02-07-2021, 04:17 PM   #19
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"Invest in experiences"

Sounds like a travel industry commercial to me.
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Old 02-07-2021, 04:29 PM   #20
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