Photo by Sun StarI always felt like it was a lie whenever I heard people say, “Money can’t buy you happiness”. Recent research proves my instinct was correct.

It’s not saying that more money in anyone’s pocket will instantly lift them into a blissful nirvana, but rather, it shows that people might not be spending their money in the right way.

Carl Richards at the New York Times points out that money is just a tool: “Having more of it does not make us happier by itself.” But like any tool, the usefulness comes to light given the right task.

He lays out some ways that we can spend our way to happiness. Not surprising, the benefit comes when we create lasting good feelings.

  1. Spending time or traveling with people you love.
  2. Buying experiences that will linger in your memory.
  3. Paying off debt so you can feel free and secure.
  4. Being able to arrange your life so that you get more sleep.
  5. Build or create things by hand.

The research is important because we can learn how we can feel happier by properly spending what money we already have.

(READ the story in the New York Times)


  1. Do you have to spend money to spend time with people you love?
    Can you actually “buy” experiences that linger in your memory?
    I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some pretty lousy vacations and some pretty amazing afternoons at home with loved ones.
    Do you have to pay off debt to feel free and secure? Couldn’t you also declare bankruptcy?
    Wouldn’t giving up money by working less allow one to get more sleep?
    Also – if you’re unemployed you can sleep as much as you want every day
    Build or create things by hand? I’m betting the poorest people in the world spend the most time doing that.
    If you think money buys happiness, I know the names of a lot of corporations that would love to make you their slaves.

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