NPR

Need A Happiness Boost? Spend Your Money To Buy Time, Not More Stuff

A recent study suggests that when people spend their extra cash to get help with time-consuming chores, they're likelier to feel better than if they use the money to buy more things.
Mowing the lawn can be good exercise, and is fun for some people. But others who find themselves squeezed for time might find the luxury of paying someone else to do it to be of much more value than buying more stuff. Source: Kristen Solecki for NPR

Money can't buy happiness, right? Well, some researchers beg to differ. They say it depends on how you spend it.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of suggests that when people spend money on time-saving services such as a house cleaner, lawn care or grocery-delivery, it can make them feel a little happier. By comparison, money spent on material purchases – aka things – does not boost positive emotions the way we might expect.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR8 min readPsychology
Reach Out: Ways To Help A Loved One At Risk Of Suicide
What can you do when you fear someone you know may be considering suicide? It can feel daunting, but suicide prevention experts say we all can help someone at risk by reaching out and showing we care.
NPR4 min readPolitics
The Tell-All Book That Could Trump Them All: The Mueller Report
Few authors get to pick who will provide the exclusive first review of their work, and Mueller didn't either. That choice was made by the principal character in the story, the president himself.
NPR3 min read
'Nearing 90,' Judith Viorst Says She's Never Been Happier
Judith Viorst's new collection of poetry is called Nearing 90, though she's quick to note she's only "a girl of 88." She's still writing, looking forward to grandchildren graduation, and feeling good.