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Two professors combine their fascinating and cutting-edge research in behavioral science to explain how money can buy happiness—if you follow five core principles of smart spending.
Most people recognize that they need professional advice on how to earn, save, and invest their money. When it comes to spending that money, most people just follow their intuitions. But scientific research shows that those intuitions are often wrong.
Happy Money offers a tour of research on the science of spending, explaining how you can get more happiness for your money. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton have outlined five principles—from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others—to guide not only individuals looking for financial security, but also companies seeking to create happier employees and provide “happier products” to their customers. Dunn and Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Charmin have put these ideas into action.
Along the way, Dunn and Norton explore fascinating research that reveals that luxury cars often provide no more pleasure than economy models, that commercials can actually enhance the enjoyment of watching television, and that residents of many cities frequently miss out on inexpensive pleasures in their hometowns. By the end of this “lively and engaging book” (Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness), you’ll be asking yourself one simple question every time you reach for your wallet: Am I getting the biggest happiness bang for my buck?
Money. For most people, it's a source of stress and fear. And yet more money doesn't change things research shows that once an American is earning around $75,000 a year, he does not get any happier with incremental income. What if instead of simply focusing on curtailing our spending, we changed how we spent our money, putting it toward purchases that actually make us happy? University of British Columbia psychology professor Dunn and Harvard Business School marketing professor Norton, friends from graduate school, offer a witty, lively guide to changing the philosophy behind spending so that it brings you true joy. Buy experiences rather than products, they advise; make your purchases treats rather than hobbies; buy yourself time; save rather than putting yourself in debt; and invest in others. Referencing behavioral psychology experiments and tests, the authors direct readers through the ways they can change their behavior to make the spending on even a limited budget lead to happiness. Readers cannot help but be charmed by this funny, warm guide to creating the good life from scratch.