In the article ” How to buy Happiness ” , written by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton , explains how now in days if people were to find a million dollars most people would quickly think of themselves. In other words having access to this amount of money can bring the worst out in people, it would make them selfish without that individual even having any remorse. Studies have been conducted that support this statement for example ,behavioral scientist have showned that material goods do not give people happiness . Also most americans continue to see buying a house is the american dream in other words the happiest thing one can do in their lives .But research shows that in actuality it brings little happiness .
This article reminds me of the song “price tag” by Jessie j , in the song it describes money isn’t everything its about love . Just like the article its states people have in increase in happiness with buying experience than experiential purchasing . Which I totally agree with because in my experience I have more happiness making memories by the experiences that I have with those I love than to go ,say shopping, all by my lonesome self.
The importance of how we use our money can contribute to our happiness opposed to how much of it we have. In the article the author starts by introducing the idea of discovering a $1 million under our mattress, and the contemplation on what would be done with the money. The mere fact that the first thing that would come to mind would be ” what that money can do for US?” is a sign that money can bring out the selfish side. Thinking about all the material things to purchase often fails to give us complete satisfaction, “HAPPINESS”. Wherein changing how we spend the money can leave a more lasting affect of happiness. Research shows that “homeowners were no happier than renters on average”. Before reading this article, this would have been something I’d disagree with, but the points shown has given me a new perspective.
We spend most of our time working so hard to live “comfortably” or “lavishly” that we in fact forget to actually “LIVE”. Saving up with no social life isn’t such a good idea because there is an importance of social contact for improving our well being. Studies also show that there is more happiness in the experience than in the material things. the value of experience tends to grow with our memories of them. Experiences come with more benefit because, more than likely we tend to do them with others. Connecting both the experience with the socializing wherein measuring to a more fulfillment of happiness.
Another way is in fact doing for others. Experiments show that doing for others can also result in your own happiness. Actually combining the experience and giving can increase happiness. The experiment with the gift cards showed that people were more happy with the idea of giving and partaking at the same time, which made it a shared experience. So switching spending to the experience can leave a longer lasting valued affect!!!
In Los Angeles Times Elizabeth Dunn and Norton wrote an opinion piece titled “How to buy Happiness” published May 19,2013. Dunn and Norton gave an example of finding a million dollars under your mattress. What will most people do with that much money? Research shows that money brings out the selfish side of a person. Making us think what we could do with that money for ourselves. For instance, buying a new car, a new cellphone, or a new T.V. Studies have shown that materialistic goods don’t bring lasting happiness. You don’t need a million dollars to buy happiness. Just by spending as little as $5 can bring you more happiness then spending $500 in materialistic goods. It all has to do with how and in what the money is being spent. Many people still associate the American dream with buying a house. A new research shows that buying a house doesn’t really have an impact in happiness. Women that are homeowners in the United States didn’t show to be any happier then those who rent. A research in Germany showed that people who moved to a better home were satisfied with the home its self, but their happiness with their lives didn’t increase. Studies have also shown that buying experiences and memories such as going on trips or the movies will bring people more happiness than buying a material item. Social contact is proven to be a major factor for increasing mental and physical heath. Experiments done in Canada, the United States, Uganda and South Africa prove that people are more happy when they spend money on others. Dunn and Norton made an experiment that combined both experiences and giving to others. On a university campus they gave a Starbucks gift card to three groups. One group had to go to Starbucks and buy themselves something. The second group had to give the Starbucks gift card to someone else. The third group had to use the gift card to buy someone else something and to hang out with them in Starbucks. The results of the experiment was that the third group who bought something for someone else and spend time with them were the happiest. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, but the way you spend that money makes all the difference. Buying experiences for you and others could increase your happiness enormously.
I completely agree with Elizabeth Dunn and Micheal Norton. I put myself in the position of finding one million dollars under my mattress. What will I do with the money? Although it will be a tricky decision to make I honestly think I would buy myself and someone special to me a flight ticket to go on a adventure. If I was to buy myself a huge T.V I would tend to stay home watching T.V all day. Instead of wasting a whole day staying home watching T.v isolated from all the things that could be done outside and spending time with love ones. I would prefer to go out and enjoy myself. Elizabeth and Micheal said “the cost of increasing your happiness may be as cheap as two cups of coffee” (2). Rich or poor if you know how to spend your money you could increase your happiness with just two cups of coffee. Memories last a life time, material stuff doesn’t.
In “How to buy happiness “by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton states how money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness, it can bring you happiness at the moment and once the money is gone you are back to your old self again. Dunn and Norton discusses how when having money, instead of spending it on materialistic things, you should use your money on things that you can remember such as doing something for another person, traveling , trips, concerts something that you can remember overtime, not doing something because you have the money and then it doesn’t mean anything later on to you. They believe that using your money matters, rather than how much you have.
Dunn and Norton studies showed that people are happier from buying experiences than from buying materialistic things. Which I believe is right because for example if someone mom has cancer and she doesn’t have that much time to live. They should want to spend as much quality time with her, rather than watching television. Although that may be memories, but going on a adventure and doing something they can always reminisce about can bring more happiness to them because, they’re thinking about the time and experience , rather than spending money on medicine and how much it cost.
Studies showed that if doing things for other people brings more happiness, then Dunn and Norton tested students at a university campus by giving out star bucks gift cards to students. They tested a experimental group, the group that gave their card to someone else, and the group that bought someone else something. Then the control group that just bought themselves something, results showed that the group that did something for someone were more happy because instead of thinking of themselves, it brought more happiness to do something for someone rather than yourself and doing something that required spending less money brought more happiness then spending more.
Lastly how we use our money does affect us much more then how much we have. Dunn and Norton suggested that you should use your money on experiences and not for yourself because money is the root of all evil, and doesn’t always have to be spending on useless necessities. It can be used to have something to remember for yourself and others that can lead to more happiness.