Maybe Money CAN Buy Happiness
Admit it. You’ve never believed that money can’t buy happiness. Those of us with money worries (which is almost everyone these days) would like to think we’re happier than rich folks. But really, come on now.
In fact, you have probably entertained this common thought: “Just give me the money and I’ll worry about my happiness.” Now science may be proving your instincts correct.
According to a study from the University of Cambridge in the U.K., money really can buy happiness – as long as you buy things that "match" your personality.
Researchers analyzed more than 76,000 purchases that 625 people made over a 6-month period, grouping the purchases into categories based on how they might be tied to a personality trait. For example, purchases involving "eating out in pubs" were tied to the personality trait of extroversion, while purchases involving "charities" and "pets" were tied to the personality trait of agreeableness.
Next the study participants completed a personality test and life-satisfaction survey, and their transactions were anonymously linked to their test results.
Extroverted people spent the equivalent of $73 more per year on "pub nights" than introverted people. Those who ranked high in conscientiousness (meaning they’re disciplined and organized) spent an average of $174 more per year on "health and fitness" purchases than the people who ranked low in conscientiousness.
What’s more, people who made more purchases that matched their personality reported higher levels of life satisfaction than people whose purchases didn't match their personalities.
So hitting the lottery and buying 27 classic cars may not make you happy (unless you’re Jay Leno), but doing more of what you already like probably will.