Can Money Buy Happiness?

A lot of us would say no, because we’ve been taught to say no.  In most cases it’s true…problems don’t disappear with an increase in wealth.  You may alleviate some issues, but other problems can arise.  Yet there are ways that money can buy happiness!

Michael Norton Ph.D tackles this topic and discusses ways to use your money for sustainable happiness.  You can view his talk on revitalize2015 via

Here are his top five tips for “Happy Money”:

happy money





A few things he said that spoke to me:

  • Experiences stick with us and the memories often get better over time.  An example he gives is buying a TV versus going on a vacation…the TV is almost immediately outdated by a newer version; however, the memory of the vacation experience improves over time (most of the time – even if there were unpleasant moments during it).
  • Sometimes we need to give “things” up to find happiness.  So true if you think about un-cluttering your home and getting rid of unnecessary possessions and giving them to someone who can use them and find joy with them…which in turn gives us joy!   Consider buying the person in line behind you a coffee at Starbucks – it might make their day and it just feels so good to do!
  • Spending money on things to get free up time for more valuable experiences can be well worth it.  Example, if you can afford to hire someone to help out with cleaning your home or managing your business, then you have more time for fulfilling family time, fun activities, etc.


Of course if you don’t have a lot of money to spare, going on vacation or buying gifts for others might not be as easy to do; however, most of us have way more than we need even if we have a modest income.  It doesn’t take a lot of money to make an impact in your life or in the lives of others.


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