Want to be happier? Spend your money the right way. Here are 3 things that researchers say will almost guarantee happiness.
We’ve said a lot on this show that it’s not acquiring stuff that makes you happy – it’s acquiring experiences. So when you’re giving a gift, it’s almost always better to give someone concert tickets than a sweater. The sweater will end up stuffed in a drawer. But the memories of a concert will be with them forever. But here’s a twist on that “buy experiences” theory. Go for quantity not quality. Instead of saving up to eat at the fanciest restaurant in town, go for breakfast at IHOP every Sunday morning with your family. Researchers from Harvard found that the happiness you get from experiences doesn’t come from the cost. So it’s better to go for cheap, frequent experiences – than expensive, once-in-a-blue-moon experiences.
Another factor when it comes to happiness: Follow the herd. If you’re wondering what’ll make you happy, look around and see what everyone else is enjoying. Whether it’s the #1 movie at the box office, or the most packed restaurant in town.
If you’re wondering what to order at the restaurant, ask the waitress – “what’s popular?” The researchers say we’re really not that different from each other. So popularity is a good predictor of what you’ll enjoy.
The third thing that’ll bring happiness: Doing things together. Don’t travel alone, go with a group. Researchers from the Universities of Chicago and Wisconsin found that experiences that grow your social circle, or strengthen it, go hand in hand with greater happiness.