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

NPR3 min readPolitics
Xi Jinping's War On Poverty Moves Millions Of Chinese Off The Farm
Remote mountain villages where residents lived in poverty are being cleared, with villagers being given new apartments in the city. But finding work may be a challenge for some of the former farmers.
NPR3 min read
Tom Hanks Considers The Cosmos, Nora Ephron, And A Man Dressed As A Shrimp
Tom Hanks has written a short story collection called Uncommon Type. Here, he talks about stories, characters, the film goddess Pelicula, and what happened to the suit he wore as David S. Pumpkins.
NPR3 min read
How Composer Daniel Hart Brought 'A Ghost Story' To Life
Hart talks about the inspiration and challenges behind his stunning score for the deeply existential film A Ghost Story.