We all believe that the greatest way to buy happiness is to buy things. But practically it’s not true. Research showed that happiness can be achieved by getting the right things. An academic study (WaPo, NYT): Buying time promotes happiness conducted by Whilans et al, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed the facts.
The study showed that spending money on time-saving activities was rather effective than buying materials for improving life. If you can save time by any means, it can provide satisfaction and removes stress. This theory is applied to every people from different income level, careers, and any country.
Whillans and her colleagues from Harvard University collaborated with several researchers from the University of British Columbia and other two institutes from the Netherlands regarding this matter. They have conducted 7 surveys of more than 6,000 people in four different countries. As per the surveys, people were making payments to someone else for performing monotonous daily tasks for them. So, by analyzing the survey report, they experienced how the money can make our life happier by saving time and giving satisfaction in daily life.
Let’s have a look at some time-saving activities:
- Home repairing
- Lawn caring
- House cleaning
- Trash removal services
- Grocery delivering
- Cooking services
- Shopping services
- Dry cleaning or laundry services
- Transportation facilities (cab or bus)
- Moving services
For an example, you might want to buy clothes or gadgets worth $125, but you’ll be happier if you spend $125 and your lawn is maintained for every day until next one month. Spending money for getting rid of chores is better than stockpiling new gadgets.
This idea is very reasonable. People, like us, use washing machines and dryers to save time while washing clothes, use dishwashers to save time while washing dishes. So, we will definitely appreciate the idea of saving time by paying money.
Buying time in return for money can save you from the negative impact of time stress in your daily life. When we have lots of daily work in a small amount of time, we feel stressed and that hampers our day-to-day happiness.
People who spend their time in groups might disagree with this idea. While spending time in a group, happiness comes flawlessly. It doesn’t need spending on chores to become happy. People in a group feel much happier when they spend time together, not money. There are only 2% of people who spend time in groups and also want to spend money on chores that would give them relief and time.
People having plenty of money may feel like they’re choosing the best way to spending cash. But as per several researches, it is proven that even if you have a minimum amount of money in your account, you can use a very small part of that amount to experience few stress free moments in your life.
On the other hand, spending your money on getting spare time may not reduce your tight schedule. That spare time you get may also be engaged easily by longer work hours or checking Emails.
Dishwashers, washing machines, and microwaves were invented to save time. But currently, they haven’t made us any less occupied by work. And people who spend too much money to outsource works may find themselves incapable of managing their lives comfortably.
So, that’s how it goes… we have learned how money can make our life happier by reducing our workload. It is clear that money ease up our work and provide us free, spare time, but it also gives us positive experiences.