Money may not be able to buy happiness, but if you spend wisely, you can at least avoid purchases that make you unhappy. SmartMoney lists eight tips for happy spending, based on new research published this month:
- Buy experiences, not things: People overwhelmingly report that they get more happiness out of things they did than things they bought.
- Buy lots of little things, not one big thing: Because we can so quickly grow tired of new possessions, or at least get used to them, it's better to focus on frequency than intensity. Think new underwear instead of a new TV, or a day trip instead of a weeklong vacation.
- Save up and pay cash: You may think that immediate gratification is better than delayed pleasure, but that's not true. In addition, anticipating future enjoyment is fun in and of itself. So instead of accruing debt, force yourself to save while looking forward to your purchase.
- Don't do too much research: Yes, it's important to read up on a big purchase before making a decision, but if you spend too long on this phase, you'll just stress yourself out.
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