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If money doesn’t buy happiness, you’re spending it wrong | Your Brain on Money

These money experts say you can buy happiness. There are some red flags to look out for, though.

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The saying, “Money cannot buy happiness,” is wrong. It absolutely can.

Research shows that spending our money on experiences rather than material possessions is more likely to make us happy.

We should reword the maxim to: “If money doesn’t buy you happiness, you’re spending it the wrong way.”

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We created this video in partnership with @MillionStoriesMedia.


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42 thoughts on “If money doesn’t buy happiness, you’re spending it wrong | Your Brain on Money”

  1. Well, as an introvert I like staying home and buying things. Going on vacation somewhere doesnt really appeal to me. Happiness is subjective and money enables the pursuit of happiness or at least minimizes financial unhappiness.

  2. I can't believe he mentioned a mountain bike. It was the very first thing I thought of when I saw this title because I spend more money on mountain biking than about anything else non-essential in my life. BUT, I mountain bike a lot and I make sure I have time to do so. It's a priority for me. So spending 5-10k/year on mountain biking for myself and my son is not a big deal for us. I think one problem even with something like mountain biking is that you have to have time for it. Money can buy you happiness if you have TIME to use it correctly. I have a lot of wealthy friends with a lot of nice things that they could be enjoying, but they work too much and don't have time to spend their money in a way that it can make them happy. Or, similarly, they don't have anyone to enjoy it with. Life's just about balance and money is unfortunately part of that balance.

  3. When I think of my dad and passed loved ones. I always think that money is the solution to all that. When I throw bags for money at a funeral it brings so much happiness. Everybody laughs and plays with the corpse of my departed baby. Come on people. Money not going to help sorry not going to help. You can pursue happiness. Get money doesn't buy it. Have the right to pursue happiness. But there's no guarantee you will be.

  4. I don't know about you all, but I love my lamborghini ultimae, my rolls royce ghost black etc, basically my collection and everytime I see them and drive them I am reminded of why I bought them….I doubt I will ever get married but so far everything is good….

  5. My car absolutely brings my partner and I happiness. Because it facilitates so many great experiences and it looks stunning. Infact Many of my "things" facilitate experiences. My gaming PC, my bicycle, my guitars, my stand up paddle board. And other things like robot cleaner, robot mower , pet feeders, automate my life in ways that I have less responsibilities and more time to relax or do fun stuff. And my coffee machine saves me lots of money, and then those savings can go towards new and better experiences. So, I don't entirely agree with all the examples given.

  6. People often spend wrongly because they spend on things that have no multiple purposes. If someone buys a piece of art or brand name item it will serve the thieve of buying, the purposes of pleasing the eyes but also store value and as an investment.

  7. I grew up poor. I consider myself okay. But I like that "spend money on experiences not things." For example, I am getting married, and weddings can cost so much money (especially without parents) but we are looking at, at least 12,000 for a wedding….for one day, whereas I really want to save money for our first home together. We both have never owned a home. Even a honeymoon would be amazing. We have never traveled. I want to invest in experiences. I agree with their take on money and happiness.

  8. For me, from having a very low income job, to a decent income job, money gives you options. You want that 3 star michelin dinner? You want to go to a rooftop bar and, if you're a guy, buy your date and yourself multiple rounds? You want to pay for overpriced drinks in the club without worrying about how much that's going to affect your bank account? You want to be able to provide for your significant other in whatever he/she wants to make her day? You want that designer item? You want that new Tesla/Benz/BMW, etc? You want that business class seat instead of economy? You want a luxurious, high rise apartment? For me, I love having these options because I am not pigeon holed into making 1 choice such as only taking economy or not buying drinks in the club because I focus on how many hours I've wasted for that 20 dollar drink. Happiness is subjective and the only objective point is: money does buy you happiness regardless of how you spend it.

  9. It's not money, it's freedom. Money affords freedom. You tried your best in this one, but please never perpetuate the idea that money buys happiness or equates to happiness. Money buys freedom. I'm obsessed with being financially secure and investing 80% of my income in tangible appreciating assets that have to do with my hobbies (so I can enjoy them while they gain value) and I've had multiple people (who all live paycheck to paycheck) ask me why money is so important to me, not realizing that it's EXPONENTIALLY greedier and more selfish to spend every single extra dollar you make on impulse buys that feel good in the moment than it is to have discipline and NOT spoil yourself pretty much ever. Ever spent every dollar of your check and then had your car break down? Impulse buys leave you dependent on others to handle inevitable emergencies. My response is always the same to them. I refuse to live even one more day of my life where I'm trending in the direction of being dependent on debt, interest, monthly payments, and/or the government to fund what I need to live, and we're all capable of having a net surplus of money (and therefore freedom) later in life if we sacrifice a little bit now.

  10. Experiences are loads of beep. I've spent money on vacations that I hated, I've been to concerts where my only thoughts were: what the hell am I doing here and when it's gonna be over? And unlike stupid purchases I've made out of a whim that I could resell second hand at a discount or donate to a charity, I can't get even some money I spent on a bad experience back no matter what. This whole theory is based on a bias that experiences are always a good thing. There are terrible experiences, too. And some of them stay with you forever like a scar. It's a weird theory to me.

  11. That trip I took 3 years ago was wonderful, but I can barely remember it. However the custom truck I bought shortly after, makes me happy every day I drive it. Happiness is a state of being. Both can enhance that state, but it's all relative. It's up to you. Service to others – sometimes paid, some not – brings me the most joy.

  12. I really feel left aside hearing and seeing several testimonies from people on profits they make from Bitcoin/Forex Investment… Can someone recommend a good expert that trade on my behalf and generate profit for me..

  13. Happiness is different to everyone.
    For me doing yardwork, planting flowers/ trees, my people and pets, and seeing other people enjoy something I was able to give. Not because of pride, but because I truly enjoy the experience of seeing other people happy. I have dream vacations, but buying vacations for example wouldn't make me happy. Just saying. Everyone's "happy" varies.

  14. Self fulfillment is unimportant if you don’t have food on the table.
    Having a roof over head and food on the tablet brings a lot of happiness if you were hungry or homeless.

    I think these ideas apply only when your basic needs are covered

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