The pursuit of money alone isn’t a guaranteed path to happiness — but it sure can help you get there. Harvard professor and social scientist, Arthur C. Brooks, noted that “no matter where we sit on the income scale, with a little knowledge and practice, any of us can use money to bring more happiness.”
In his article for The Atlantic, “How to Buy Happiness,” Brooks discussed how finances can positively impact your well-being when used wisely. Below are three ways to achieve this:
Experiences create lasting memories that can be cherished and revisited over time. Material possessions may lose their appeal and value, but the positive memories associated with experiences can endure. Invest your money on attending a concert to see your favorite artist, visit a friend you’ve been longing to see or plan the vacation of your dreams.
Experiences often challenge us, push our boundaries and promote personal growth. These challenges and the sense of accomplishment that comes with them can help increase our self-esteem and happiness.
2. More Time
Allocating your time wisely can significantly impact your well-being. By outsourcing tasks or responsibilities you find tedious or time-consuming, you can reduce stress. When you have more time to focus on activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, your overall quality of life improves. This includes pursuing hobbies you enjoy, spending time with family and friends or engaging in personal development.
As Brooks wrote, “If you pay someone to do something time-consuming that you don’t like to do (for example, cutting your yard) and don’t waste the time you gain on unpleasant things like doom-scrolling on social media, you can get a happiness boost by spending those extra hours with others.”
3. Donating to a Great Cause
Giving to others can provide a sense of purpose and meaning to life. Donating your money to a favorite charity or helping someone in need can boost your self-esteem and self-worth. Knowing that you have the capacity to make a positive difference in someone else’s life can increase your happiness.
Ultimately, if used wisely, money is a tool that helps us create a life rich with meaning. “The key factor connecting all those approaches is other people,” wrote Brooks. “If you buy an experience, whether it be a vacation or just a dinner out, you can raise your happiness if you share it with someone you love.”
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