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How to Buy Happiness

Where are you spending your money? Are you spending it on pointless, routinely things or are you actually spending them on things that make you happy? Here are a few tips to make sure you are spending money wisely and happily:

1. Spend money on experiences

Which caused you more happiness: the latest gadget that you bought or the most recent vacation with people you love? Most people would say the latter and for good reason: Experiences are memories you can keep for a lifetime. Profound experiences, such as travels experiencing new cultures, will leave a mark in your life that will stay with you, while the latest gadget can keep you entertained for a week or two. Experiences allow us to grow & impact on the person we become.

2. Buy time

Time is a non-renewable resource. More time spent with things that you actually love translates into happiness. So, how do you buy time? One is to focus on things that you are good at and enjoy doing. For the work that you feel can be efficiently handled by a professional or even an app that specializes on the task at hand, it’s best to invest on these to buy you more time in doing what you actually like doing. Forego the hassle of work that you don’t enjoy that may take 10 hours, when a professional can do it in 1/10th the time at a better quality.

Time is valuable - yet too many of us don’t value it. Spend it wisely.

3. Spend on others

Money can change things. Money can change other people’s lives. Spending money on others like a charity you truly care for or investing money on education of a prized employee can give you happiness like no other. Knowing that you’ve helped in the improvement of the lives of another person is a joy that a few has the privilege to experience.

4. Have a “happiness budget”

Review your monthly expenses and see if the things you spend on actually serve you happiness or just money going down the drain. Make sure that the things you spend money on have purpose. If they do, keep these in your budget and add some more if need be. Keep in mind that budgeting is not to limit your happiness but it helps you to be mindful and spend the money on the things that really do matter.

5. Stop keeping up with the Jones'

Too often, we are occupied with material things that are not necessary. With the advent of social media, some people feel that they need to get the latest phones or take that expensive trip.

Work out what makes you happy & prioritise that. A common example I see is with cars. if you are into cars & they give you a significant amount of pleasure, then go for it. If you are not into cars & just want something to get you from A to B that is reliable, an exotic car won’t deliver much happiness. Save some money & put it towards living a life that is true to your values - not someone else’s.

You might like to checkout our recent podcast where we discuss this subject at

We also can recommend the book “ Happy Money - The Science of Happier Spending” by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton.

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