Multiple Ways How Spending Money Increases Your Happiness In Life And How To Apply These Principles To Online Shopping

Written by Lena Marie Kurenbach



Multiple Ways How Spending Money Increases Your Happiness In Life And How To Apply These Principles To Online Shopping

Money does not make you happy and cannot buy you happiness. It seems that these older statements are no longer true, at least not the first one if you focus on 1. spending money instead of keeping it and 2. some concrete tips in mind to consider while spending money. 

The relationship between money and happiness is examined quite a lot, but although there are studies that showed a positive correlation between money and happiness, the influence is much less than people think. (Not) surprisingly a recent research from the University of British Columbia done by Kostadin Kushlev, Elizabeth W. Dunn and Richard E. Lucas show that a high income means less daily sadness, but has no relevance on daily happiness. Sadness and happiness are two distinct emotional states, which means that a life with less sadness is not automatically a happier one.

What Financial Wealth Gives To Us

Financial safety is an important aim in our human life. It enables us to have a home and daily food. It pays our taxes, bills and other fix costs. It assures the fulfillment of our basic needs and these are good reasons, why we need financial safety. Therefore, it is pretty well understandable, why most of the people are striving for money. Robert Kenny (EdD), psychologist at Boston College, found in a study with extreme wealthy people, that financial wealth gives us the freedom not to think about how to pay the bills, but doesn´t create a continually state of happiness.

What Problems Money Causes

For the most people in society, having less money causes problems. Mostly when our income cannot guarantee our basic needs. It is a common thinking that if we would have more money, everything would be easier. But this is a huge fallacy. Some things will be better, or easier, but other problems will raise. Extreme wealthy people have their own set of concern, as Kenny found in the research. “This research shows the rest of the world, who often think that if they just made one more bonus or sold one more item or got one more promotion, then their world and their family's world would be so much better, that this isn't necessarily true.” The example of super rich John Caudwell shows, that money is not a guarantee for a fulfilling and happy life. He made billions of dollars through mobile phone shops but has a family in turmoil with more than one individual tragedy.

What else comes along with possessing money is spending money. Often we feel guilty about, for either or both, earning a lot and spending money. Several tips and curings exists since a longer time, but new insights show, how we can spend money and increase our degree of happiness. One way is to spend money for others.

Prosocial Behaviour - Or Why Sharing Makes Us Happy

Spending money for others, instead of ourselves, enables us more pleasure and daily happiness. If it is a present to a beloved person, a coffee invitation to a good friend or a gift to a homeless, whatever it is, giving something to somebody else increases our happiness. Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, two authors and scientists, are talking from “Prosocial Behaviour”, which makes our daily routine a lot happier. Accordingly, Francis J. Flynn, Paul E. Holden Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business says, “Investing in others can make you feel healthier and wealthier, even if it means making yourself a little poorer.”

Multiple Ways To Become Happier Through Spending Your Money

Money still can´t buy you happiness, because happiness is not a like a good which you can pick out the shelf or put into your shopping cart. But spending money in the right way can lead you to a happier life. Happiness is a complex, distinct emotional state, which is, for the most of us, complicated to achieve and sustain. 

In a study by Elizabeth Dunn from the University of British Columbia, Daniel Gilbert, Psychologist at Harvard University and Timothy Wilson from the University of Virginia, the authors show 8 principles to consider while spending your money. In their paper, “If money doesn´t make you happy, then you probably aren´t spending it right”, they are providing the reader with new insights about how to spend money in a way which increases happiness.

  • buy experiences, not just stuff
  • spend your money to benefit others, not only yourself
  • buy rather small pleasures
  • avoid paying for warranties or overpriced insurance
  • pay now, delay the consumption
  • think about side effects of a consumption
  • do not compare too much and too long
  • be aware and have a look on what makes others happy.

What This Exactly Means To Us

Do things with friends and your family, even if it´s not spectacular and maybe invite them, even it is only for a coffee. It will bring you pleasure. Treat yourself with several smaller things, instead of fewer bigger presents. After some time, also a big, fancy car, is just a vehicle with four wheels, but it needs a lot of petrol. Try not be be frightened about too many possible scenarios and don´t let the fear pull your money into insurances you´ll probably never need. Think about what can be effected from a consumption. Maybe the possession is a time consuming thing or needs special maintenance and a tail of further investments occur. Stop comparing too long and too much - the time you spend to save some money, isn´t it worth it in most of the cases. Finally, ask your friends and have a look what consumptions made your fellows you trust and like happy. Maybe you will benefit from a similar consumption.

How To Use These Tips In The Internet

Especially the online consumption overwhelms us with an endless amount of offers, personalized advertisements and special sale offers, only for us. This creation of pressure combined with a confusing range of goods on offer with a partially hidden intention in content makes it nowadays harder than ever to shop online with a good feeling. Annoying ads and campaigns, purportedly knowledge about users (the consumers) leads to a hike and seek between us and therefore mediums which use the internet and company´s marketers. 

Before I write about what marketers could learn from the new insights how spending money could make us happy, I want to present some of my thoughts to you, how to extend the former tips to become a happy online shopper.

  • only buy those things in the internet which you can´t buy in your town or in closer surrounding
  • don´t buy online to save a small amount of money, consider delivery costs and the pollution which comes along with that
  • be aware of your shopping behaviour and set yourself an appropriate time frame for the purchase
  • don´t follow blinking advertorials or banner, purchase forced and directed by others does not make you happy
  • make your own experiences

How Internet Marketing Could Be Turned Upside Down By These New Insights

In the second following post I change position and step onto the side of marketers. I examine the idea, how internet marketing could and should be changed and what opportunities lie in the presented new insights for marketers.