Maximizing Happiness. At Lunch.

6 comments | March 5th, 2012

(by OOC via CBSNews)

Oh, money.  You taunt us, you tease us, you buy us pretty things.  Sometimes.  But do you make us happier, and if you do, how do you do it?

These are age old thoughts and questions, no?  Wll, according to the author of "All the Money in the World" if we want to spend our money on that which'll make us happiest, it's time to stop buying things and start speding on experiences – experiences we've planned for.  Here's why (from the original article):

"Experiences are harder to get used to than things, because they are always different…So what do the happiest people do on their lunch hour?

They treat a friend to lunch. Preferably, a lunch they've planned well ahead of time.

Here's why. Planned pleasant experiences give you a triple happiness whammy. You anticipate them beforehand — and as any kid waiting for Christmas knows, anticipation is often as pleasurable as the experience itself. You live through your adventures, and then you savor the memory afterwards. Eating is, of course, one of the most pleasurable things people do. In one study in which women reported how happy they were at different points of the day, eating ranked just below sex.

As for treating a friend? Humans are social creatures, and socializing scores about the same as eating on the happiness scale. Spending money on other people (in the form of gifts or charity) is also one of the few things that is strongly correlated with happiness.

All in all, that's a lot of happiness for less than $25 (if you choose the right restaurant)."

So anyone out there in OOC-ville want to take us to lunch?  Does this make sense to you?  It does to us.  If you could spend on any one or two expereinces that you thought would make you happy, what would they be?  And a trip to Subway is just fine.  Experiences and happiness, let's #discuss.

(For the original story in its entirety, go here.  And for the writer's new book "All The Money In the World" go here.)


  • Liza N.K.

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    I guess planning ahead really is a good idea!

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  • Sophie

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    When we got married, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for our wedding, so we did. I told my now husband that we weren’t paying for a wedding (and a honeymoon) as much as we were buying memories. I really think that’s true, and now when I look back on the wedding and the honeymoon I smile. Yes, they are special experiences but I do think the premise holds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    I’ll take the money to pay for an expensive night out over the expensive night out every time. I have grad school to pay for.

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  • SF Girl

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    My G-Ma always used to say “things break, memories last forever.”

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  • Traveler

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    I love to travel. There is nothing like planning the trip, being on the trip, and then looking back on it (usually in an unrealistically positive way). That is how I spend my money.

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  • Cindy G.

    Posted on March 10, 2012

    Let’s eat!

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