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How Money Buys Happiness

Transformer

Well-Known Member
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...cording-to-scientists/?utm_term=.0e72485bd693

If you were given $40 on the condition that you had to spend it on something that would make you really happy, what would you do with the money? Some people might go shopping, others would treat themselves to dinner or a movie, a few might even donate to cause. But what about using that $40 to "buy" yourself more free time?

According to a study published Monday in the journal PNAS, people who buy time by paying someone to complete household tasks are more satisfied with life. And it’s not just wealthy people. Across a range of incomes, careers and countries, timesaving purchases were correlated with less time-related stress and more positive feelings.

Yet the researchers’ surveys showed that very few individuals think to spend money in this way.

Ashley Whillans, a social psychologist and the study’s lead author, says she is “totally obsessed” with people’s decisions of whether to place more value in time or money. She says we weigh the two all the time: “Do I take the toll bridge, which will save me time but cost me money? Where should I live? If I live far from work I’ll save money, but it will take me more time to commute.”

Whillans and her colleagues at Harvard University collaborated with researchers at the University of British Columbia and two institutes in the Netherlands to conduct seven surveys of more than 6,000 respondents in four countries. The surveys asked people whether they regularly pay someone else to complete unpleasant daily tasks and rated their satisfaction with life.

Across all surveys, life satisfaction was typically higher for people who regularly spend money to save time. This was true regardless of household income, hours worked per week, marital status and number of children living at home (though one limitation of the study was that very few people on the extreme low end of the income spectrum were surveyed).

Even after controlling for total disposable income by comparing the amount participants spend on necessary purchases such as groceries, unnecessary purchases and life experiences, working adults in the United States reported higher life satisfaction if they regularly paid to outsource household tasks such as cooking, shopping and general maintenance.

Ryan Howell, a psychologist who was not involved with the study, called this consistency across demographics “robust” and “impressive.” Howell’s research at San Francisco State University also focuses on spending and happiness, and he also has found that the amount of money people have is not as important as how they spend it.

To directly test whether timesaving purchases can boost happiness, the scientists in the latest research recruited 60 working adults in Vancouver and gave them $40 on each of two consecutive weekends. They were told to spend the money on a material purchase one weekend and a timesaving service another weekend (in varying order).

Compared with the days when they bought stuff, most participants reported that their timesaving purchases were accompanied by an increased positive effect, a decreased negative effect and less time stress. And it didn’t matter how exceptional, useful or posh their material purchase was.

Despite this, when researchers asked another group of 98 working adults in Vancouver how they would spend $40, only 2 percent mentioned buying themselves more time. And in the earlier surveys in the Netherlands, even among millionaires, less than half reported regularly spending money to outsource disliked tasks.
 

GreenEyedJen

Well-Known Member
As a single woman, I’ve gotten comments from just about everyone I know re: having things delivered. All my important items are on Subscribe and Save or a Dash button on Amazon. Toilet paper, dog treats, vitamins, tampons...things that I’d always forget about and have to get at what would be inconvenient times. I’ve been called lazy and wasteful, I’ve been told I spoil my dog too much...just dumb stuff.

It is seriously SUCH a nice luxury to climb up those three long ass flights of stairs to my apartment and see my S and S package there. My (soon to be former) job is sooo stressful and being able to go straight home to my comfy place without having to stop at a Target, CVS, or Pet Valu is really nice.

My SO went from adamantly refusing to order pet items online to making a chewy.com account for us. He works hellishly long days and after cooking up chicken for his dogs for the nth time because he never left work on time to pick up their food, he gave in. I doubt he will ever go back.
 

kupenda

Well-Known Member
I get the concept and I agree. But I cannot think of any services I’d need that would cost $40 or less.
Agreed. $40 to do what??? Organize my kitchen cabinets I guess. I could use a hand finding all those matching Tupperware lids. But overall yes, money gets you options. And peace of mind, knowing that taking the toll road every day won’t set you back and negatively affect your grocery or social options for the month
 

OhTall1

Well-Known Member
But I cannot think of any services I’d need that would cost $40 or less.
The only two I can think of are car related: valet vs. self park and Uber vs. bus.

I had the internal debate about Uber vs. bus a few months ago when I walked out of my building to go to work and my car battery was dead. The bus stops right in front of my building, I'd have to transfer to the subway and I had an appointment that day to a location that was on the bus line. Public transportation for three trips (home to office, office to appt, appt to home) would've been $8. Uber, including tip, was closer to $30 and less than half the time it would've taken on public transportation.
 

nysister

Well-Known Member
$40 a day...yes. $40 a week is a bit harder, but I would never turn down free money of any kind as long as it didn't come with strings.

I completely agree with money buys options. I won't sacrifice my health for it, but I enjoy having extra, and the more money I make the happier I am to have it. I'm sure at some place it will hit a tipping point, but for this moment it's okay. Though this job makes me wonder...

So I thought of a few ways an extra $40 can be helpful.

  • $40 Lunch delivery to work.
  • $40 will get the neighbor kids in twice to mow the lawn.
  • $40 is about the cost of Amazon Prime for 3 or 4 months when you pay for the year.
 

BrownBetty

Well-Known Member
I had the same dilemma this weekend, uber vs public transportation. It was going to take 1.5 hrs and two buses for $2 vs $26 and 30 min. I chose the latter.

I can make more money I can't get back time.




The only two I can think of are car related: valet vs. self park and Uber vs. bus.

I had the internal debate about Uber vs. bus a few months ago when I walked out of my building to go to work and my car battery was dead. The bus stops right in front of my building, I'd have to transfer to the subway and I had an appointment that day to a location that was on the bus line. Public transportation for three trips (home to office, office to appt, appt to home) would've been $8. Uber, including tip, was closer to $30 and less than half the time it would've taken on public transportation.
 

Zaynab

Well-Known Member
Absolutely. I spend money on things to make life easier. I will outsource any and all services. But not just the usual like a house cleaner or beauty maintenance, I can't iron or wash clothes very well :look: and everything isn't convenient to be drycleaned so I've always had a person to wash & iron. It's a nominal price to pay for people with multiple changes of clothes per day. I order everything online and curbside grocery service is wonderful.
 

Stormy

Well-Known Member
I wonder what they spent the $40 on. Let's see...we only spend $30 for our bi-weekly lawn cuts so there's that.

Cleaning... hubby took that away from me years ago. But...cooking! I love to do it, but it's become nearly impossible during the week to do. I've thought about hiring a cook. We need someone who can cook mainly vegetarian dishes though.

Living closer to your job, but paying more for housing. I can see that. Traffic is awful here. I remember some years ago a lady from LA told me her commute to and from work was 3 hours! I thought how absurd! A couple of years later I found myself in the same situation. I fixed that!

Uber, yes definitely agree with. Some time savers are necessities for me. Others I don't mind doing. Like, when DH is out of town, I don't mind doing the laundry and cleaning. Somehow I found a way to do it for years with two kids and it didn't seem to take up too much time nor stress me out. now it's just the two of us and when he's gone it's just me so that's even easier.

Just depends on your lifestyle. The one thing I refuse to do though is trade or save time to work myself to death.
 

sgold04

Well-Known Member
I am a witness! Some people make snide comments about me periodically getting my house cleaned and getting my groceries delivered as a single woman, but my time is precious and I’d rather run errands WHILE my house is being straightened up.

I had several friends visit me recently and the day after they left I had the house keeper come by. While she was cleaning and doing laundry I was able to get work done (by the pool) and run a few errands. I came back to a clean house and took a nap :)
 

PretteePlease

#fakeworkouts
If you were given $40 on the condition that you had to spend it on something that would make you really happy, what would you do with the money?

According to a study published Monday in the journal PNAS, people who buy time by paying someone to complete household tasks are more satisfied with life. And it’s not just wealthy people. Across a range of incomes, careers and countries, timesaving purchases were correlated with less time-related stress and more positive feelings.
.
This is about to be me I am growning very resentful towards house work. It is taking away from who i want to be in business.
 

BrownBetty

Well-Known Member
I wish I could find a housekeeper. I could have my house cleaned and laundry done all at once. I currently have two separate people. My family had some things to say about my choices but I replied that it was how I chose to spend my money and my time was precious.
The first time I had my house professionally cleaned I went food shopping and to the bank. I came home to a clean house and gleefully gave her my money. I haven't looked back.

I am a witness! Some people make snide comments about me periodically getting my house cleaned and getting my groceries delivered as a single woman, but my time is precious and I’d rather run errands WHILE my house is being straightened up.

I had several friends visit me recently and the day after they left I had the house keeper come by. While she was cleaning and doing laundry I was able to get work done (by the pool) and run a few errands. I came back to a clean house and took a nap :)
 

FemmeFatale

Well-Known Member
As a single woman, I’ve gotten comments from just about everyone I know re: having things delivered. All my important items are on Subscribe and Save or a Dash button on Amazon. Toilet paper, dog treats, vitamins, tampons...things that I’d always forget about and have to get at what would be inconvenient times. I’ve been called lazy and wasteful, I’ve been told I spoil my dog too much...just dumb stuff.

It is seriously SUCH a nice luxury to climb up those three long ass flights of stairs to my apartment and see my S and S package there. My (soon to be former) job is sooo stressful and being able to go straight home to my comfy place without having to stop at a Target, CVS, or Pet Valu is really nice.

My SO went from adamantly refusing to order pet items online to making a chewy.com account for us. He works hellishly long days and after cooking up chicken for his dogs for the nth time because he never left work on time to pick up their food, he gave in. I doubt he will ever go back.
Don’t let these miserable ppl get to you. I know what you mean about having a stressful job and just wanting to go straight home. If you can afford, have at it.
 

FemmeFatale

Well-Known Member
I am a witness! Some people make snide comments about me periodically getting my house cleaned and getting my groceries delivered as a single woman, but my time is precious and I’d rather run errands WHILE my house is being straightened up.

I had several friends visit me recently and the day after they left I had the house keeper come by. While she was cleaning and doing laundry I was able to get work done (by the pool) and run a few errands. I came back to a clean house and took a nap :)
Dont listen to them, these ppl want you worn out and miserable like them.
 

Evolving78

Well-Known Member
As a single woman, I’ve gotten comments from just about everyone I know re: having things delivered. All my important items are on Subscribe and Save or a Dash button on Amazon. Toilet paper, dog treats, vitamins, tampons...things that I’d always forget about and have to get at what would be inconvenient times. I’ve been called lazy and wasteful, I’ve been told I spoil my dog too much...just dumb stuff.

It is seriously SUCH a nice luxury to climb up those three long ass flights of stairs to my apartment and see my S and S package there. My (soon to be former) job is sooo stressful and being able to go straight home to my comfy place without having to stop at a Target, CVS, or Pet Valu is really nice.

My SO went from adamantly refusing to order pet items online to making a chewy.com account for us. He works hellishly long days and after cooking up chicken for his dogs for the nth time because he never left work on time to pick up their food, he gave in. I doubt he will ever go back.
I haven’t gotten with this concept yet, I need to get on board.
 

FemmeCreole

Island Gyal
I used to have a hard time justifying paying a housekeeper. Now pfft! I pay the cleaning lady $100 every 3 weeks to clean my house. I need to find another to clean my other house now that I think of it.

The lawn guy is $35 every 2 weeks. Although we have a mower, that's time DH spends bonding with dd or doing other things to make money.

I used instacart religiously when I lived in ATL so you know I was thrilled when they finally came to Nola. I haven't been to the grocery store in almost 2 months.

Those little things opens up windows of time that I get to spend with my family. Yes there is a cost, but my time is worth more than what I pay for those services so its worth it to me.
 

FemmeCreole

Island Gyal
Absolutely. I spend money on things to make life easier. I will outsource any and all services. But not just the usual like a house cleaner or beauty maintenance, I can't iron or wash clothes very well :look: and everything isn't convenient to be drycleaned so I've always had a person to wash & iron. It's a nominal price to pay for people with multiple changes of clothes per day. I order everything online and curbside grocery service is wonderful.
I need someone to fold my clothes. I can do it but I hate folding and ironing. HATE IT! When I do laundry, somethings I hang as soon as they come out the dryer so there are no wrinkles. But the stuff to fold just annoys me.
 

RossBoss

Well-Known Member
I'll never ever hire a cook or house cleaner because I just don't like people/non-family members and non-friends in my home and especially around my food and other personal items so that is just time I will never get back but it's no biggie. I actually like going to the grocery store and seeing, smelling and feeling my food. I also like doing my own housework because I have a lot of delicate antiques and family heirlooms that require tender loving care and I'm not about to outsource that to a stranger who does not have the same emotional attachment and investment that I do. So yes, cleaning and cooking takes time, but I look at it as self-care and not necessarily as a chore.

My lawns are all mulched over so no cutting grass but I pay my neighbor to put down fresh mulch twice a year and tackle weeds.

For me, the biggest thing that money buys is tranquility. This is of utmost importance to me and the thing I cherish the most. It allows you to keep irritation and aggravation at bay. I am very impatient and easily annoyed by having troublemakers in my space so I understand why the wealthy like to live in secluded areas away from the riff-raff and other up to no good plebeians because that is the only way to ensure peace of mind.
 

toaster

Well-Known Member
Yes! Honestly paying for services you don’t want to do/ don’t do well/ don’t have time for makes life so much easier.

I’ve been in my apartment for a year now and I had a cleaning lady from day 1. My apartment is still spotless and I don’t have to scrub the toilet.

I feel more put together if I pay someone to do my nails twice a month.

I FINALLY found a lady that will rollerset my natural hair without trying to flat iron it afterwards. I see her twice a month as well. I’m glad I learned how to care for my hair and that I can style it myself, but I was dreading the five hour wash days. Now I don’t! Worth it.
 
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