You don’t have infinite money. Spend it on stuff that research says makes you happy.
Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, it doesn’t make you that much happier. But one of the biggest questions is how to allocate our money, which is (for most of us) a limited resource.
There’s a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time than a one-off experience like a concert or vacation. According to recent research, it turns out that assumption is completely wrong.
“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”
Jay is a Brooklyn-based staff writer for Co.Exist.
Jay previously worked as a foreign correspondent based in Istanbul, Turkey and still writes about the Middle East. He currently co-edits the Turkey section for Jadaliyya, an independent website providing analysis on the Middle East and North Africa. A former Drupal developer, he'd love to chat with you about the politics of software and/or the software of politics.