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Money makes you happy?

When I delivery happy training the issue of does money make you happy is always a polarised hot debate. I believe that there is a geographical dimension to this issue. I mean that if for example you live in a rain forest, the significance of money to obtain you basic needs let alone your happiness is vastly diminished. You have to find other ways to obtain your happiness without money.

In their 2014 book, Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, American academics Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, conclude that money can buy happiness. But only if you spend it the right way.

"The typical ways we spend our money don't pay off in much happiness," Dr Norton told a recent conference in Sydney. "But there are other ways to use our money that do pay off. If you think money can't buy happiness, it just means you're not spending it right."

Research from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, or HAS,  gives a different perspective. The research, published by Tamás Hajdu of the Institute of Economics at HAS and Gabor Hajdu of the Institute of Sociology at HAS, differs in methodology from Gilovich’s studies. Those studies typically involved bringing two groups of undergraduate students into a room, asking one group to think of the last experience they spent money on, and asking the other to think of the last material good they spent money on. Both groups were then asked how happy each endeavour made them, and when the researchers compared each group’s responses, the experiences tend to win out.

Instead, Hajdu and Hajdu analyzed 10,000 responses of survey data from a major Hungarian household survey project, the Tárki Household Monitor. The survey contains a score from 0 to 10 that quantifies the respondent’s satisfaction with his or her life, as well as a measure of his or her household spending over the last month, last three months, and last 12 months. Using this survey data, the researchers split the respondent’s spending into “experiential” and “material” purchases, where experiential purchases were purchases in entertainment, sports, and vacation, while material purchases were any purchases of clothing and electronics. After converting the raw spending data into the percentages of each family’s total income, Hajdu and Hajdu analyzed correlations between experiential spending and material spending and life satisfaction, controlling for personal characteristics.

They found that the difference in satisfaction conferred between the different purchase types was both incredibly small and not statistically significant. “Although both experiential and material expenditures were positively associated with life satisfaction, we found no significant evidence supporting the greater return from experiential purchases,” they wrote—in other words, yes, spending money was correlated with greater happiness. But one kind of spending did not seem to result in greater, or less, happiness.

You have all heard of retail therapy where spending money makes people feel good. Confessions of a Shopaholic is a 2009 American romantic comedy film  based on the first two entries in the shopaholic series of novels by Sophie Kinsella. The film stars Isla Fisher as the shopaholic journalist and Hugh Dancy as her boss (source: Wikipedia) . Rather than having a happy experience the film is more about dealing with debt collectors as a result of her excessive shopping. She certainly does not seem happy.

Go to :  or any other website you like and look around if you choose to buy something record how you feel after the purchase and email me the results!


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