You have probably heard and maybe even embrace the idea that money can’t buy happiness. I’ve said so myself numerous times.
But behavioral scientists and researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton argue this is not exactly true. Money, if you spend it right, can buy happiness.
So what’s the right way?
“Shifting from buying stuff to buying experiences, and from spending on yourself to spending on others, can have a dramatic impact on happiness,” Dunn and Norton write in “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending” (Simon & Schuster, $25). Dunn is an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Norton is an associate professor of marketing at Harvard Business School.
Truthfully, I needed a break from all the dreary talk about the federal government shutdown and concern the country might default. So “Happy Money” is the Color of Money Book Club selection for this month.
I’m always trying to find research that looks at how people can do better with the money they have. I plan to use this book in my financial classes, where folks believe that if they just made more money, their level of happiness would increase. They could afford to buy better stuff, a larger home or cooler car. Yet studies show that more doesn’t increase your long-term happiness.