Money Can’t Buy Happiness? Science Begs to Differ, Yes It Can!

Researchers found that people spending money on saving time were reportedly more satisfied with their lives than the others

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Time and Money
"Money can't buy happiness". A group of researchers believes the opposite with scientific backing. Pixabay

Aug 03, 2017: It’s time to change the pre conceived notion- “Money can’t buy happiness”. A group of researchers believes the opposite with scientific backing. It says, “you can buy happiness – especially if the money saves you time”.

Research from the University of British Columbia has found that people who dole out cash to save time on things like – paying others to cook or clean for you are more likely to feel happiness, less stressed and more satiated in life.

The author of ‘Buying Time Promotes Happiness’ writes, “Around the world, increases in wealth have produced an unintended consequence: a rising sense of time scarcity.”

“We provide evidence that using the money to buy time can provide a buffer against this time famine, thereby promoting happiness.”

The study involved the researchers questioning about 4500 people from the four countries (U.S., the Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada) about their levels of time-related stress, their life satisfaction and whether they spent their money on material goods or time-saving purchases.

These people were asked whether they paid others for monotonous daily tasks in order to increase their free time. In 28% of cases, the answer was yes. These folks spent an average of $147.95 per month to buy themselves an additional time.

The results found that people spending money on saving time were reportedly more satisfied with their lives than the others.

Furthermore, to narrow the study, the researchers asked 1,800 Americans similar questions and found that 50 per cent of the respondents who had made such purchases also proclaimed greater happiness. These folks spent on an average between $80 and $99 per month for chores like cooking, shopping, and household maintenance.

In an experiment which involved paying 60 Canadians $40 to spend on a weekend found that the time-saving buyers described feeling more positive at the end of the day compared to those who bought materialistic goods.

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Elizabeth Dunn, one of the authors of the paper, told the New York Times, “If there’s some task that just thinking about it fills you with dread, then it’s probably worth considering whether you can afford to buy your way out of it.”

However, keeping in mind the perquisites of buying the time, the researchers noticed that many of us choose not to allocate discretionary income this way, even when we can afford it.

“Despite the potential benefits of buying time, many respondents allocated no discretionary income to buying time, even when they could afford it: just under half of the 818 millionaires that we surveyed spent no money outsourcing disliked tasks,” the authors noted.

The rationale behind the findings is the ‘cult of busyness’ – an ideal which sees people favor a tireless work ethic over paying someone for a task, so as to evade appearing lazy.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94