Last Minute Holiday Shopping? Research Suggests Money Can Buy Happiness!


We’ve all heard the phrase: “Money can’t buy happiness.”
But what if it can?

Research shows there may be a way to buy a little slice of happiness with even a small amount of money. *Hint: The secret is HOW you spend it.

There are many ways we spend money during the holidays. If you were given a small amount of money to spend, which choice below do you think would bring the most happiness?

  1. You spend your money on a material item, i.e., the outfit you’ve been coveting in the window of your neighborhood boutique, home furnishings, or a piece to add to one of your collections.

  2. You spend your money on a personal experience, i.e., movie tickets or a music concert by yourself, or getting that well-deserved massage.   or…

  3. You spend the money on a shared experience, i.e., a mother/son movie night, a nice dinner with your partner, or a concert or other event with a friend.

Scientists found across four studies that only one of the choices is superior for increasing our happiness. It is choice 3. Researchers Caprariello and Reis found that in this example, the inclusion of others in our shared experience was the key to increasing happiness when it came to spending that money. So when you are trying to find the perfect gift for that special person in your life, you can choose from items that allow the recipient to “have,” “do,” or “share”. ” I’m putting my money on the share!

Happy Holidays, friends…. Share a smile, a hug, or a laugh with someone today, and it will make both of you happy!

*hint…giving to others is also a way to increase happiness! More on that subject to follow. Stay tuned.

Caprariello, P. A., & Reis, H. T. (2013). To do, to have, or to share? Valuing experiences over material possessions depends on the involvement of others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(2), 199-215.
Niemiec, Dr. Ryan (2018). Research Reveals You Can Buy Happiness. VIA Institute on Character.

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