Happy Money

Happy Money

The Science of Smarter Spending

Book - 2013
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Two professors combine their fascinating and cutting-edge research in behavioral science to explain how money can buy happiness--if you follow five core principles of smart 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 offers a tour of research on the science of spending, explaining how you can get more happiness for your money. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton have outlined five principles--from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others--to guide not only individuals looking for financial security, but also companies seeking to create happier employees and provide "happier products" to their customers. Dunn and Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Charmin have put these ideas into action.

Along the way, Dunn and Norton explore fascinating 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 "lively and engaging book" (Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness ), you'll be asking yourself one simple question every time you reach for your wallet: Am I getting the biggest happiness bang for my buck?
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451665062
Branch Call Number: 332.024 DUNN
Characteristics: xix, 197 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Norton, Michael 1975 Apr. 4-


From the critics

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Sep 11, 2020

A quick and readable guide that covers how to use money to increase your overall happiness - there's not much new here, but the writers strike a light, amusing tone, and there are some solid tips. #ScienceSeptember

Jun 14, 2016

Poor read, not at all what I expected. Little new material in this book.

simoneverikki Mar 07, 2016

This book really wasn't worth the effort to read it. Most information was parroted from related books. Many points the authors seemed to try to make just left me hanging. Didn't learn anything I hadn't already read somewhere else.

Dec 28, 2015

A couple of tips I will incorporate so it was o.k.

Mar 29, 2014

Contends spending correctly brings happiness. The authors have 5 contentions that they say science can show us how to spend our money more efficiently to achieve happiness. I think they miss the mark in that they seem to still cling to the belief that spending money is what we should focus on to find happiness. I guess if that is how you make yourself happy this is the book for you! The authors did irk me by I believe miss-stating that the slow movement says we have less time than we did in the past. That is not the thrust of down shifting and the slow movement. Downshifting is about spending more time on things that we find important and enjoying the moments in life rather than rushing from one thing to the next. The authors say that we really don't spend more time working than we did in the 60's. The contention is that when surveyed people say they are working more than they did in the past but people are prone to error so a better way to determine if we are working more of less is to have people keep a time log and compare that to a similar study from the 60's. This is problematic to me from a number of angles. They still rely on people recording data which is subject to the same errors as other studies that show we work more than in the past. Another problem is that the nature of work has changed vastly since the 60's both what is done and how it is done. A waitress or landscaper job is probably pretty similar to the 60's but an accountant or engineer has changed vastly. How are hours worked but not recorded captured? I can't easily find the backing data for the study they rely on so at this point I can't say if it is valid or not. Finally even they admit that commute times are a lot longer compared to the past although apparently that doesn't factor in to overall work time.


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Jul 02, 2013

Looking back on their past decisions about whether to purchase experiences, 83 percent of people sided with Mark Twain, reporting that their biggest single regret was one of inacation, of passing up the chance to buy an experience when the opportunity came along. The opposite was true for material goods; most people's biggest regret was buying something that htey wish they hadn't. p.16

Jul 02, 2013

We are happy with things, until we find out there are better things available... Even the simplest experiences, like eating a bag of SunChips, are relatively immune to the detrimental effects of attractive alternatives. p. 17

Jul 02, 2013

The French use the verb se rejouir to capture the experience of deriving pleasure in the present from anticipating the future. The se rejouir period provides a source of pleasure that comes free with purchase, supplementing the joy of actual consumption. p 80-1

Jul 02, 2013

What separates the suicidal from the rest of us is not an abundance of negative thoughts about the future, but rather an absence of positive ones. p.82


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Jul 02, 2013

Seriously. Think about it. Here are the principles again: 1. Buy Experiences 2. Make It a Treat 3. Buy Time 4. Pay Now, Consume Later 5. Invest in Others. p. 136


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