What to spend money on to earn
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Psychological research shows that those decisions can have an impact on your well-being. So if you were to let the evidence guide your spending, what should you do?
Buy experiences rather than material goods You might think that the problem with spending on experiences is that they are over in an afternoon, whereas a shiny new pair of shoes can last you years. However, when researchers from the University of Texas instructed people to spend a number of dollars a week either on experiences or on material goods, the first group felt happier afterwards.
Introduction: 21 Ways to Spend Less and Save More Money
The reason is that the shoes remain the same apart from becoming less shinyso we stop noticing them, but experiences bring more variety. They also bring us extra pleasure in a form of anticipation long before they actually take place.
And of course, a day out leaves you with happy memories too. Spend money on other people When the US psychologist Elizabeth Dunn asked her students to predict whether people would get more joy from receiving a free gift of money to spend on themselves or to spend on someone else, they said people would prefer to spend it on themselves.
Elizabeth Dunn also found that, regardless of income, people who spend the highest proportion of their salary on other people are, on average, happier. By the time the holiday comes round it feels almost as though it was free, leaving you to concentrate on the pleasure without it feeling expensive. Conversely, if you buy something on credit, you have the pain of paying when the pleasure has long gone. Buy yourself small treats When people are feeling miserable, they are more likely to buy themselves a gift.
In a study conducted in a US shopping mall, researchers found that people often spend money strategically to improve their mood.
Lots of small treats will make you happier and cost less than one big one.
Rent happiness The psychologist Sonya Lyubomirsky has spent her career studying happiness. Instead of splashing out on a better car, rent a fancy sports car for a weekend away.
But that can reduce the pleasure of what to spend money on to earn experience. In experiments where people were asked to calculate their hourly rate, it even spoilt their enjoyment of listening to music a few moments later! She is convinced that thrift is a forgotten virtue.
Vintage shops might be in fashion, but many of us still want to buy new things. Or you can recycle the initial pleasure your old possessions used to hold for you, by bringing them back into service.
It can be challenging to decide when to cut expenses and when to put money out in hopes that you get a big return. There, you get twice the foot traffic you would on an aisle, and you can make your display more open to both lanes of traffic. Hire a PR firm. The keyword here is that it might happen, with the right firm and the right product story. The problem is that most firms require a monthly retainer fee whether you get a media hit or not.
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