A new study goes completely against the old saying that “Money can’t buy you happiness”. According to a new research, spending money on things that can buy free time does make people happier, no matter their income.
For their research, a team of Harvard Business School and University of British Columbia researchers surveyed over 6,000 adults. These reside in four countries: the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
Participants Were Happy to Buy Time by Spending Money
The study respondents were asked to if they would spend money to buy some free time. Also, if they did this, how much money they used in doing so. Besides these, the participants were asked to rate their life satisfaction. They also answered questions regarding their stress levels concerning time.
Based on their answers, the team reached the conclusion that spending money on time can reportedly bring a greater life satisfaction. This effect still held up even after controlling for the respondents’ income.
“[…] our results suggest that buying time has similar benefits for happiness as having more money,” states Ashely Williams.
She is the study lead and a Harvard Business School assistant professor.
“We thought the effects might only hold up for people with quite a bit of disposable income, but to our surprise, we found the same effects across the income spectrum.” Continued Williams.
The study team also conducted a field test, which involved 60 adults, to verify its results. These were randomly assigned to spend $80. $40 had to go on a time-saving purchase for a weekend. The remaining sum was delegated for a material purpose on another weekend.
According to results, people were happier when they spent the money on buying time compared to the material purpose acquisition.
Still, the researchers were also quite surprised to note how few people would actually spend money to buy time, even if they afforded it. Reportedly, among 100 working adults, only two cents in $40 would be dedicated to a time buying expense.
Study results can be accessed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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