In the article “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton, It speaks about how people spend there money and how it can effect how happy they are on a daily basis. It also speaks how when people get a large amount of money they spend it on things that are used for temporary happiness. Then how you spend your money is also something that is rather vital to your happiness. It also shows that materialistic things according to science don’t have a everlasting eternal happiness feel to the person who brought the materials. Some people would rather spend there money in different types of ways and occasions in order for example put down payments on a new house rather than just hanging out with your friends and spending money on various things while you are out with your friends. They also suggest and believe that spending your money on people who are lest fortunate than you is a better way to feed somebody else’s happiness rather than yours. Also it states that spending money on experiences on trips rather than materials are better ways to spend money. Basically the people in this article have a belief and understanding that spending money on others is more of a better feeling towards both your happiness and the person your treating than spending it on yourself.
I firstly believe some of what is said in this article is very true but however false on the other hand. Having money is something that should be kept sincere to you. I say this because mostly a lot of people spend money on countless things that don’t matter to much now a days and won’t long term benefit them. For example, some people would think that putting $300 on sneakers for their style is more beneficial to them rather than putting $300 towards a phone or even school supplies or better yet a down payment on a house for the future or in their bank account. People think different and have different intentions so happiness may cover all different types of aspects of a person. When having money that may equal to greed for some people. Greed is something that destroys a person in my opinion because then money ruins their character. But yet it makes their happiness. I think when you buy materialistic things it is like paying for temporary happiness. Will that $400 phone you have or $300 clothing or sneakers be with you when your older ? Something’s don’t indeed last like people assume it to be. I also believe that some people are selfish and believe on spending money on themselves rather than just giving back to others. That brings me back to greed destroying a persons character. It may be their happiness but it also may destroy who they are even though money makes them happy. While some others would love to give back to the people less fortunate or people they love because it gives them a better feeling seeing and making others happy, makes them happy as well.
Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton explain how the quality of our lives matter more than the quantity of things we have. In an article from the Los Angeles Times, How to buy happiness. Dunn and Norton start of by asking a simple question that has a million answers, what would you do if you found $1 million ? Everyone , at some point in their life, has wished for that amount of money. But out of all of us who would actually do something selfless and spend it on someone else? The first few items on our lists are something for ourselves. Its possible that our fifth item is for someone else. But even if you were selfless would those purchases create memories for a life time or would they be used for a few hours of pleasure ? Dunn and Norton even use most peoples first thought, to buy a house, as a bad example of spending your newfound wealth. They say that although “…most Americans continue to see as a central part of the American dream” buying a house isn’t “.. a sensible investment”. They’ve came to the conclusion, with the help of generations of research, that “how we use our money may matter as much or more than how much of it we’ve got”. Meaning that it doesn’t always matter how much money you have if you don’t have the proper way to spend it towards your happiness. Money can’t buy happiness.
in my opinion Dunn and Norton have the right idea about how money affects happiness. for example you could be the richest person in the world but if you don’t have anyone to share this lavish life with what’s the point of it all? Renting out Disney Land for the day sound like an ideal day but running around and riding all of the rides alone, is nowhere near as much fun as having your closest friends come along and enjoy the day that you can remember for the rest of your lives. As Dunn and Norton explain ” we tend to watch our new televisions alone on the couch, but we rarely head to a wonderful restaurant or jet off to Thailand solo.”
In the experiment that was conducted at a university campus they proved that even with the simplest of gestures, buying someone a cup of coffee, you are defiantly happier than enjoying a cup on your own. On many occasions I’ve brought someone a cup of coffee and hung out in Starbucks for hours just talking. And I’m absolutely sure I’m not the only one who has done so. When it comes to the example they gave , about buying a home, I don’t completely agree. Yes, buying a home may take some a life time but in the long run you have something your family members can also enjoy or even have to fall back on. I don’t agree that you have to pass on that drink after a long day or that nice dinner once in a while. You should be able to have everything with moderation. Compromising on your spending shouldn’t have to interfere with your overall happiness.
Although making changes to your list can be difficult, with the help of this article, the outcome can be even more pleasurable than your original list if you’re even just a little less selfish. Through research and experiments Dunn and Norton have made an appealing case that “.. you can make yourself happier today.” just by switching to buying experiences rather than material things that only benefit yourself.