So, it’s true money can buy happiness!

Do you believe that money can change the shape of your existence, that it can embellish the curve on your face, that it has the power to make you happy? Yes, is my and I know for sure, it is your answer as well. But money alone has little power on how you feel, it is the choice of your spending that dictates this facet. Now, for instance, if you were given 200$ after meeting your most basic necessities what would you do with it? Go for shopping, plan a trip, or invest it somewhere. Already feeling happy but wait, this might cause a ripple of happiness that is fleeting and passes you by after its short stint. But to have a perennial effect, you need something stronger or you need to correct your spending behavior and it’s not me saying this but this study conducted by Ashley Whillans and her colleagues at Harvard University in collaboration with researchers at the University of British Columbia and two institutes in Netherlands.

In this study which was formed of 7 surveys of more than 6000 respondents living in 4 Countries, it was found out that people who invested in buying themselves some time were happier compared to those who splurged on ostentatious settings and desires. And this stood true for people lying in a different spectrum of incomes, work loads, and relationship status. (Though the study was not very deep on people with extremely low income, only a few respondents were surveyed in that category).

But even after a direct correlation between time, money, and happiness we rarely see them aligned. In fact, we rarely value time over materials while materials can be repurchased time once gone is gone forever. Whillans suspects it’s because of the abstract nature of time we always think we’ll have more of it tomorrow. So, that’s why we are always wary of trading money which is measurable and exact with time which is uncertain.

You Are Your Time!

But does that mean, using the money to satiate our need for exploration, dressing, and other garish desires provide only an illusion of happiness? No, they do have their own space where happiness is concerned but what this study suggests is that time is also a part of this list of things to buy from money to experience happiness and it is a crucial one.

But experiments after experiments suggest that we rarely have it on our list as a priority and for most, it’s not there by miles. So, how to change this? How can we better our spending to cause us more happiness?

Let’s see how we can buy time in our daily life.

  • If you don’t like the household chores and have sufficient income to hire someone to do it for you, go ahead and hire that somebody. With the saved time you could invest yourself into some activity that makes you happy or just relax and enjoy being.


  • When traveling, choose the fastest means whenever possible. See how can you reach faster wherever you wish to reach? Find the shortest route, hire a cab, choose flight (plan early, book tickets well in advance, apply discounts etc), go with the fastest train. If you can afford it, you well should. If you find yourself with insufficient amounts, see if there’s any unnecessary expense that you can cut and use in these time buying services.


  • If there’s anything you can delegate, please do.


At work


  • Automate: We’re living in a technologically advanced world why not use it to our advantage? Automate as much work as possible to move over human errors and save time and energy.



  • Outsource: If there’s something beyond your capabilities or is time-consuming when you don’t have any to spare. Outsource that work and put your energies into something more productive and time efficient.

Making these little changes can probably help us do better with time. If it’s there, it’s there for a while use it well before it leaves you. A little tweak here and there and we are done.