Thursday, July 17, 2008

Money CAN buy Happiness

...if spent on someone else!

Check out this interesting study which proves something many of us probably knew all along:

Spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could significantly boost happiness, the team at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found.

Their experiments on more than 630 Americans showed they were measurably happier when they spent money on others -- even if they thought spending the money on themselves would make them happier.

...

"Regardless of how much income each person made, those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not," Dunn said in a statement.

Dunn's team also surveyed 16 employees at a company in Boston before and after they received an annual profit-sharing bonus of between $3,000 and $8,000.

"Employees who devoted more of their bonus to pro-social spending experienced greater happiness after receiving the bonus, and the manner in which they spent that bonus was a more important predictor of their happiness than the size of the bonus itself," they wrote in their report, published in the journal Science.

...

"These findings suggest that very minor alterations in spending allocations -- as little as $5 -- may be enough to produce real gains in happiness on a given day," Dunn said.

This could also explain why people are no happier even though U.S. society is richer.


Now you know what to do when you're having one of those days - spend some money! Not on an expensive shopping spree (that will only leave you feeling guilty - trust me!) but on someone else.

What better way to prepare for Ramadan than trying to get into the habit of giving sadaqah (no matter how small) on a daily basis?

6 comments:

Anonymerican Muslimah said...

That is absolutely true! Buying a homeless person lunch somehow always works better for me than buying myself another pair of shoes.

I just have to remember ...

Affad Shaikh said...

i have the homeless person wash my car, then i give them some lunch.

Zahra Billoo said...

This may be another reason you have to resort to Pakistan and a TV show to get yourself married Affad. :D

Great post Huda.

Aliyah said...

Salams, Excellent post Huda. Here is another story in the same vein, though a bit older, entitled "It feels good to be good" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052701056_2.html

Basically, science is yet again proving fitrah. :) Alhamdulilah for Islam

Yesi King said...

haha zahra you're funny! sorry affad:)

Affad Shaikh said...

look if the person has the capacity to be able to physically make/do something to earn a living then they should.

The Prophet said that its better for us to go and do work to earn a honest living then it is to hold out our hands and much better then to sit in the masjid and pray.

If the person who is homeless has absolutely no capacity to do this, then I understand, as of yet, aside from Pakistan and thats something I need to write about, i have yet to meet some one in the US who could not feasibly do something in order to earn their keep.

When I do, I dont hesitate at the thought of not providing them the oppurtuinity to eat, but I refuse to give money, since that could be used to buy drugs or for other things, and I dont know if it will or wont, so I only give/get food.