Money brings luck in life 1

Study: Money can actually buy happiness with this simple trick

Happiness cannot be bought. This opinion is widespread in our society. It serves as a consolation for all those people who have to survive every day with a minimum of financial means and can just afford a roof over their heads and enough food for their family. You wouldn't be happier with money either. Do you feel this way of thinking? In any case, it does not offer any real consolation, especially since it is simply untrue. A recent study proves the opposite: Happiness can definitely be bought with money. All you have to do is change a simple train of thought.

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1. No money does not make you happy ...
2. ... but not a lot of money either? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that!
3. The "way" in which you make money is not unimportant
4. Money can buy happiness by ...
5. Why are rich people in particular so stingy?
6. A good deed during the day increases the subjective feeling of happiness
7. Poor or rich - people remain people
8. So what should you do? Rethink your spending behavior!
9. And how can employers use this knowledge for themselves?

No money does not make you happy ...

If one thing is certain about money, it is that poverty does not make you happy. You are not necessarily condemned to be unhappy, because even with minimalism it is sometimes quite good to live, but those who constantly worry about how to get enough food on the table in the next month will never live as carefree as a well-laid one Bank account would be the case. So it is above all the psychological factors that have a negative effect when there is a lack of money: Fear, worry, insecurity. You can read about the fact that security is a basic human need and what role it plays in their lives in the following article:

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This also applies to financial matters! Even if you are reasonably happy despite being poor, you would be a little more financially secure - guaranteed. That doesn't mean you have to strive for wealth or a spot on the list of the world's richest people to be happy. But you should at least try to get into a green branch financially in order to be able to cope with unexpected investments, strokes of fate such as an illness or a job loss or other financial challenges. In addition, there may be five, ten or 100 euros left over at the end of the month, with which you can buy yourself “luck”.

... but not a lot of money either? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that!

Even such small amounts can be quite sufficient for this. So we're not talking about the villa on the beach or the Lamborghini in the garage. Nevertheless, according to a recent study, it is possible to actually buy happiness with money. At least that's what Michael Norton claims in his latest TED Talk.

Michael Norton was born on April 17, 1975 and graduated from the prestigious Princeton University with a degree in philosophy in 2002. He has been a professor at the Harvard Business School since 2005 and has dedicated himself to research in the fields of psychology, economics and finance.

Norton would like to find out first and foremost how the financial situation as well as the handling of money correlate with the personal happiness of a person. One of his most famous discoveries to this day in the course of his research is this: Money makes you happier when you invest it in experiences like a vacation instead of in material things like new clothes or a sports car.

Reading tip: Money doesn't make you happy - experiences do!

So money can make you happy if you know how to use it properly. Ultimately, however, in this case it is the experiences that cause the plus in individually perceived happiness, not the money itself. He therefore continued research to get to the bottom of the question: Does money make you happy or not?

The "way" in which you make money is not unimportant

You need more in life than money to be happy, that is clear. In addition, the way you make your money has a big impact on how you relate to your finances: Studies have already clearly shown that money makes you happy in the short term if it is earned honestly, legally and morally. In the long term, however, other factors such as the quality of a person's social relationships or their health are more decisive for individual happiness. And if the money was generated illegally at the expense of others, i.e. immorally, or illegally, it usually does not even have a short-term positive effect on your mind. You can find all further information on this in the article:

Reading tip: Study proves: Money can only make you happy if there is one condition

You can already see that the relationship between money and happiness is more complex than you might have suspected and than we would all wish. Wouldn't it be nice if we could buy a pot of happiness with five, ten or 100 euros? On the other hand: what would that mean for the poorer sections of the population? Michael Norton as a philosopher asks precisely such questions every day. In the course of this, he came across an interesting theory, which he has now been able to prove through empirical studies: Buying happiness is actually possible indirectly. But how?

Money can buy happiness by ...

... spend it on other people instead of on yourself. Very easily! To test his theory, Michael Norton first examined what the average person spends his or her money on. This is primarily the person himself. He buys a car, something to drink, new clothes or a movie ticket. Maybe sometimes he generously spends a round with his friends or invites a friend to dinner - but that is usually the highest of feelings. The exciting thing is: the more money a person has, the more stingy they are usually and the less willing they are to spend it on other people. Poor people, on the other hand, tend to distribute it generously to friends and family when they get a little more money every now and then - sometimes too generously. There is always the danger of being exploited by the social environment.

Why are rich people in particular so stingy?

Rich people in particular tend to be very distrustful. They assume that many of their alleged friends are just after their money - and that is not always wrong. Also, if you loan, give, or pay for things like a meal or vacation for a friend, the next person can be jealous. Spending the money on other people can therefore lead to numerous conflicts. The easier way is to be stingy with your own wealth. Unfortunately, many well-to-do people exaggerate their egoism and become lonely in the long run - and thus inevitably unhappy.

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So it doesn't seem like the way to be happy to always spend your money on yourself - or not at all. What if you spend it on other people instead? Michael Norton and his team asked themselves this question. So you gave money to a test group of people to spend on someone else until 5 p.m. that day. The control group received the same amount to spend on themselves by 5 p.m. that day, as most people would anyway. These amounts were not large. Instead, it was five or twenty Canadian dollars each. What happened?

A good deed during the day increases the subjective feeling of happiness

After 5 p.m., the scientists called the test subjects. They asked them what they had spent the money on and how they were feeling now. The results were amazingly clear: The test group who had spent the money on other people were consistently happier than the control group, who were allowed to invest the money in themselves. So it seems to make you happier to buy a coffee for a stranger than to get yourself one at Starbucks. An immense effect for little money - as I said, it was only five or 20 Canadian dollars. According to Michael Norton, it made the subjects happier

  • to buy a cuddly toy for the niece,
  • to donate the money to a homeless person or
  • To buy friends a coffee,

than enjoying yourself, buying new makeup, clothes, or jewelry. To stay with the example of "coffee", the exact same investment for the same amount makes you much happier if you make it for someone else than for yourself. Norton also found out that the amount of money was irrelevant with regard to the "lucky amount", that is, five dollars made you as happy as 20 dollars - if it was spent on someone else. The people who spent the money on themselves, on the other hand, felt the same. They were neither happier nor more unhappy than before, regardless of whether they were given five dollars or twenty dollars.

Poor or rich - people remain people

In the interests of the representativeness of the research results, Michael Norton and his team wanted to carry out the study in a less well-off country. So the question was: does it make poor people happier to spend money on other people if they themselves suffer from a lack of money for the rest of their lives? Or maybe they appreciate it more and are happier when they spend it on themselves? Here, too, the astonishing result of the study in Uganda was: Even a person who can barely buy food for himself or afford any kind of luxury can only be happier with money if he spends it on people other than himself. Fascinating, isn't it ?!

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It was also irrelevant whether the money was spent on an “unimportant” purpose such as a gift for relatives or for a “vital” purpose such as hospital treatment for a child suffering from malaria. So it doesn't actually seem to be because of the specific way you spend your money on other people. The main thing is that you do it! Norton then expanded its study worldwide and was able to identify a correlation between happiness and donations in all countries: People who had recently donated money consistently described themselves subjectively as happier - with one exception, the Central African Republic. But you know: no rule without exception. The research team did not get to the bottom of the reasons for this. All in all, the result seems clear enough: Spending or donating money for other people makes you happy. Point.

So what should you do? Rethink your spending behavior!

So if you want to live happier from now on, money can actually buy it for you. All you have to do is spend your money on other people. Of course, you shouldn't do that with all of your assets. Instead, resolve to spend one euro a day, i.e. seven euros a week - or how much you can and want to afford - on someone else. You will see: Doing good makes you happier than any material good that you could buy. Feel free to try it out and tell us about your experiences!

And how can employers use this knowledge for themselves?

Finally, Michael Norton also wanted to know whether and how this effect can be used at the company level. He turned to sales teams in the field to do this. He also gave these team members 15 euros each, which they should either spend on themselves or on a colleague. The astonishing result: those teams that spent their money on their colleagues or on a common activity were subsequently more successful in sales than the “selfish” control group. Norton describes the now more powerful teams that have invested their money in working together as “prosocial teams”. The same increase in performance could be observed in dodgeball teams - which are usually more in the hobby rather than in the corporate sector. So it seems like a concept that works on any team. What you, as an employer or manager, would like to do with this information is up to you.

In any case, we are looking forward to your ideas. Feel free to let us know in the comments or have a general discussion with us on the subject of luck and money. We thank you in advance!

Photo credit: iStock.com/Creative-Touch

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