Yes, You Can Buy Happiness: Here's How
People who spend money to buy themselves time—by having lunches delivered to work or hiring a cleaning service, for example—report higher levels of life satisfaction, according to a report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
According to researchers, stress caused by a lack of free time negatively affects your sense of well-being and contributes to anxiety and insomnia.
The researchers first asked 8,000 working adults in the United States, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands—including 800 millionaires—a series of questions about whether they spend money buying time each month and, if so, how much they spend. Fewer than one-third of those surveyed reported spending money to buy time.
Then researchers conducted a two-week experiment involving 60 working adults in Canada. During the first week, participants were directed to spend $40 on a purchase that would save them time. In the second week, they were directed to spend the same amount on items like clothes, books, and wine. The result? Saving time increased happiness levels and reduced stress more than material purchases.