Happy Money

The Science of Smarter Spending

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If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right. Two rising stars in behavioral science explain how money can buy happiness—if you follow five core principles of smarter spending.

Happy Money offers a tour of new research on the science of spending. Most people recognize that they need professional advice on how to earn, save, and invest their money. When it comes to spending that money, most people just follow their intuitions. But scientific research shows that those intuitions are often wrong.

Happy Money explains why you can get more happiness for your money by following five principles, from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others. And the five principles can be used not only by individuals but by companies seeking to create happier employees and provide “happier products” to their customers. Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Crate & Barrel have put these ideas into action.

Along the way, the authors describe new research that reveals that luxury cars often provide no more pleasure than economy models, that commercials can actually enhance the enjoyment of watching television, and that residents of many cities frequently miss out on inexpensive pleasures in their hometowns. By the end of this book, readers will ask themselves one simple question whenever they reach for their wallets: Am I getting the biggest happiness bang for my buck?
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451665062 | 
  • May 2013
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Read an Excerpt

Happy Money

Make It a Treat
Sarah Silverman loves pot, porn, and fart jokes. But when it comes to indulging in these finer pleasures, the comic and former Saturday Night Live writer has a mantra: “Make it a treat.” This epiphany came to her in the midst of her freshman year at New York University, when a friend found her in the midst of an extended pot bender and imparted some guru-like wisdom: “If you want to enjoy these... see more

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