The Chicago Tribune
August started out with an interesting article that captured my interest in the Chicago Tribune. I never thought about this, but apparently there has been research done that shows that people who farm out some disposable income to time saving services add a boost to their overall happiness than spending the same amount of money on a material purchase!
Rich or Poor – Does it Matter?
Ashley V. Williams, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Elizabeth W. Dunny, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia reviewed a study with over 6,000 people in North America and Europe. These people were asked to talk about their habits in paying for time related activities. The results from this study are interesting. It shows that all the people in the study tweaked their happiness level by using some extra money to pay someone to do something for them, and consequently saving them time to do other things.
These two professors teamed up to study 60 adults who are working full time in Vancouver, British Columbia. Their research extended over two weekends.
1. The first weekend; participants were given $40 to buy a “time saving” service. Examples of this service included having someone rake leaves, or have their groceries delivered.
2. The 2nd weekend participants were given $40 to spend on a material purchase. Examples of this were buying a good bottle of wine, or a new clothing item.
Results of Research
Those who spent their money by freeing up their time were more joyful afterwards than those who purchased a material item.
Arguably, there are other research studies that posit that there are other ways of using disposable income to boost your happiness; spending money to help someone in need or going to a special event like the ballet.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Do you agree with research results?