How Can Money Buy Happiness?

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Aug 14, 2015
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Behavioral Finance, Current Events, Audio Resource

This NY Times article about a shift in consumer attitudes caught my eye after I had just posted a recent lecture from Harvard professor, Michael Norton.  In it, he shared his research which found that people found greater happiness from buying “experiences” rather than things.  The NY Times article highlights the challenging environment that retailers find themselves in now with the culprit being…

Analysts say a wider shift is afoot in the mind of the American consumer, spurred by the popularity of a growing body of scientific studies that appear to show that experiences, not objects, bring the most happiness. The Internet is bursting with the “Buy Experiences, Not Things” type of stories that could give retailing executives nightmares.

Do your students agree?  Ask them the three items that they purchased in the past year that brought them the most happiness.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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