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Researchers Identify Five Principles of 'Happy Money'

In their book, Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton provide five principles for what they call "Happy Money." Money can't really buy happiness, but it can bring a lot more fun into your life if you spend it in the right way and on the right things. Based on their research, here are the five principles of happy money:

  1. Buy experiences, not just things. We can find happiness in experiences and are often disappointed by things, such as dream houses and dream cars.
  2. Make it a treat. Having a house full of chocolate bars is a good way to lose the joy of chocolate, but anticipating a special chocolate treat makes your money go a long way.
  3. Buy time. We are "time poor" people so slow down and avoid expenditures that devour time. Recapture the pleasures lost by living in an all-consuming rush.
  4. Pay now, consume later. Reverse the established order of our consumer society by having the money before you do or buy something, not after.
  5. Invest in others. Whether we give to friends and family or make charitable donations, studies show, most people find more happiness in sharing than spending on themselves.

Dunn and Norton do not mention it, but according to Scripture, giving generously to the church and kingdom causes is the epitome of "Happy Money."

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