Money Really Does Buy Happiness Just Not How You Think

two kids smiling holding money

Can money buy happiness?  We’ve come to universally accept that it can’t, but that is untrue.

Money can buy happiness; you just have to know how to spend it.

“The truth is a lot easier to see when you stop assuming you already have it.”  Michael Norton, the Director of Research at Harvard Business School, once said that, and he went on to prove money can buy happiness if you’re spending it on the right things.

It turns out that when we buy stuff for ourselves like cars, designer clothes or even gourmet coffee, we aren’t happier over the long term.

But if we spend money on others, it will increase happiness long term.

Norton’s behavioral research supports this generous spending link to happiness.

His studies find that spending on others, no matter how much or how little we give, raised people’s overall happiness.

It is the simple act of giving that brings joy.

Take 11 minutes and watch Norton discuss his research in what is my favorite of all TED Talks.  It changed the way I spend money, and more importantly, how I pursue happiness.