If there’s one effective way you can use money to enhance your happiness levels every day, then it is by buying time.
Is there something that you absolutely hate doing and you feel is a terrible use of your time? If yes, then it’s best to buy your way out of that dreaded task by delegating to someone else. This can instantly make you much happier in your day-to-day life.
What truly matters for our holistic success and well-being is what we do with the minutes gifted to us by our Creator every day. If you have a good chunk of money in your bank account, live a comfortable life and have all the nice stuff, but still spend a significant portion of your time doing things that you don’t enjoy, then your happiness just takes a nosedive.
It turns out that sometimes, money can buy happiness, but of course through an indirect route. Things have drastically changed in the past few decades, and time has become the most essential currency for a majority of the population. This is what University of British Columbia psychology professor Elizabeth Dunn found in a study she co-authored and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She says, “In terms of our happiness, time is really the fundamental currency. What really matters for your day-to-day moods is what it is you’re doing with your time.”
In the study, researchers surveyed more than 6,000 people in four countries and also conducted an experiment in which they gave people $40 for two weeks. In the first week, they had to buy something material and in the second week, they had to use the money to buy themselves some time. Some examples of time-saving expenses involve hiring someone else to clean your home or mow your lawn, shopping online, getting food delivered at your doorstep, or taking cabs over public transportation. The investigators reported people feeling happier when they used their money for time-saving services than on material things.
Dunn emphasizes that “buying time is not only for rich people.” Even the $40 amount that the participants were given in the experiment created a remarkable difference in their overall happiness.
In another, larger survey, Dunn also measured “time stress” — the amount of stress you feel for not having enough time in the day to do the things that need to get done. In general, people who feel more pressed for time are overall less satisfied with life. However, when people from all strata of society use money to buy time for themselves, that time stress automatically evaporates.
So, what are some ways you can buy time for yourself? What services can you easily afford to alleviate the “time stress” in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Maybe it’s time to adjust your monthly budget and redirect your money from spending on material things to those essential, time-saving services.
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