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Money buys happiness?

Sort of.

Maybe.

It may be how you spend the money you have.

I’ve thought a lot about happiness in the past 7 months.  What has made us happy in the past?  What do we most cherish now that Chris continues with us in spirit only?  How do we be happy now?  Is it realistic even?  (answer: yes…another blog or book on this one!)

The Province Paper had an interesting article today entitled, ‘Ten Ways to Buy Happiness’.

Really?

I expected a quick read, but found myself absorbed by the UBC Prof, Elizabeth Dunn’s comments.

Here are five ways money can buy happiness according to the Province article referring to Dunn’s paper.

1. Buy many small lovely things rather than one big one
4. Buy experiences, not things
5. Spend on others, not yourself
7. Delay, delay, delay consumption
8. Happiness is in the details
Many small, lovely things….like COFFEE!  Ingrid and I calculated a number of years ago how much we were spending at that place that makes coffee and rhymes with Moonshucks.  It was a lot.  Then we had another thought.  We devised a coffee budget that allotted for that expense and simply skipped a dinner or two out each month.  Done deal.  For us, the coffee time provided that 15-20 minute ‘quick connect’ with busy schedules and allowed us to maximize family time while still being connected.  It was always more that coffee…it was a connection.  I get this point…and love it as I’ve learned to love the long pour americano…with room.  Find a good barista, grab your spouse or friend and try one!
Buying experiences, not things.  Wow.  How much has this meant to us?  The world.  Literally.  I have my wife to thank for a few times where I would have been a bit more budget conscious, but the experiences we had as a family are so priceless I would have gladly paid 10x more.  (Don’t tell that to the zipline people, whale watching people, travel agents, flight centres, or hotel folks either!)
I remember one trip that we took to Victoria and decided to go whale watching.  I still can hear the sound of those great beasts breathing and pulsing through the water as we waited in quiet and intense anticipation on a still kodiak boat floating several hundred metres in front of an approaching pod.  Seeing the excitement and pure joy on Max and Chris’ faces will be something we will have forever.  Experiences…not stuff.  Totally get it.
Anyways, a great article and very interesting.  Can money buy happiness?
I think the Prof’s co-authored study title says it best I think. “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right”.
Interesting.
You can read more by following the link below.

By Randy Friesen

Randy Friesen is a business strategist, manager and educator based in Vancouver, BC and Detroit, Michigan. He is also a husband and father. He loves the creative process and is active in creating art and music.

3 replies on “Money buys happiness?”

I totally agree, and love that you shared this. My favorite is buy experiences. I have done that and it has made me live life fully. I may not be rich because I spent my money, but I too have been awed by whales.

Randy, I agree totally with the thought “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right”.

Absolutely Agree! The experiences we have and share with our children are priceless. It’s time to plan another trip with our family. Thanks for sharing.

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