Money can buy happiness

I came across a paper with a title so good that I couldn’t not read it:

If money doesn’t make you happy then you probably aren’t spending it right.

Elizabeth W. Dunn, University of British Columbia; Daniel T. Gilbert, Harvard University; Timothy D. Wilson, University of Virginia

The whole paper is pretty interesting, but super long. So here’s the TL;DR:

  • Buy experiences instead of things (this one’s kind of a cliche at this point)
  • Help others instead of yourself (also see Effective Altruism)
  • Buy many small pleasures instead of a few big ones
  • Buy less insurance (humans are pretty good at adapting to crappy circumstances, so we don’t need to protect against them as much as we think)
  • Pay now and consume later (as opposed to consume now, pay later)
  • Think about what you’re not thinking about (that dream cottage of yours probably has a terrible mosquito problem)
  • Beware of comparison shopping (I don’t really understand this one)
  • “Follow the herd instead of your head” (If a lot of people prefer one thing over another thing, there’s a good chance they’re right)

Here’s a pretty good video breaking it down too:

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