I recently did a short piece for ON WISCONSIN about research into spending and happiness. A lot of studies have been done about how much money it takes to be happy, and the findings often seem to point to some upper limit of money after which more money does not make us happy.
It’s too bad we aren’t more sensitive to this limit because if we were, we wouldn’t be burning up the planet quite so fast in our quest to acquire more, more, more stuff in the mistaken impression that it will make us more, more, more happy.
The researcher I talked with (see article below) was studying what people, in reflection from early retirement age, feel made them most happy, and they tended to highlight recreational spending.
Here’s how it starts….
Can You Buy Happiness?
A national study links leisure spending to a sense of well-being.
How much cash do you need to be content? The answer may not be based on how you count it, but rather on how you spend it.
Thomas DeLeire, an associate professor of public affairs and population health sciences, decided to sidestep the somewhat abstract controversy over how much income it takes to be happy. “We wanted to drill down a bit and learn what people do with their money that leads to greater happiness,” he says.
Read the rest here.
I would go further out on the limb and say both time and money bring more happiness when they connect us to others. And that many of the most fulfilling ways to interact are not the big-carbon footprint activities.
Doug and I have had our income radically reduced in the past few years (same old story many others have been through as our economy constricts). Yet I feel we are at least if not more happy than before. The money we have spent on classes and community building have definitely make us very happy.
I’m going to take Intermediate Tin Whistle in March! We are going to the Midwest Organic Farming Conference in February. I know these expenditures are going to reap high returns in happiness.
What kind of spending makes you happy?
Categories: Eco activism