Science says that spending may be good for you.
According to researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, spending money can increase your serotonin – a mood balancing chemical produced in the brain that may help ward off depression. So, prepare to open your wallet on your way to welcoming happiness. 5 ways your spending can help you become happier:
1. Buy experiences
Going on trips, embarking on adventures, participating in events and new experiences all make you not only happier, but more likable. Why? Well, according to researchers at Cornell University, those who do things instead of just buying things are viewed as intelligent, successful, open-minded, and outgoing people. Besides, awesome experiences are way better than that new pair of boots. Think of the memories you’ll make, the stories you can tell. What are you waiting for? It’s never too late to travel to Peru, or run with the bulls, or go parasailing.
2. Treat yourself
We live in an age where we can get anything almost instantly. The world is available at our digital fingertips. So, yeah…no big deal to hit a button, spend a few bucks, and have something delivered to your door. We spend money on necessities constantly, so why not spend money on a treat? A nice bottle of single-malt scotch, that painting you’ve been eyeing up, gourmet chocolates, that 1st edition book you saw. Make it special, treat yourself.
3. Buy some time
Busy schedules, hectic lives, and overwhelming obligation can keep you from smiling. The simple act of having more time, if even to breathe, can be a priceless treasure. So consider spending some money on ways and means that will make your life easier. Maybe get yourself a cleaning service so that you can spend some time with friends and/or family instead of spending so much time cleaning the house. Or consider a lawn service to give you more time on the weekends.
4. Stretch it out
Stanford University Neuroeconomists contend that paying high prices for things evokes guilt and actual, physical pain. However, the region of the brain associated with pleasure is activated when we anticipate enjoying our rewards. The neuroeconomists suggest putting more time between your date of purchase and the actual enjoyment of, or opening of, the goodies you bought.
5. Invest in others
Donating to charity or giving to others can make you feel quite good. In fact, a study in Science showed that even spending $5 on somebody else brings with it a legitimate feel good response. Consider skipping that cup of Starbucks coffee and donate that money to a fund raiser instead.