I have read a new book called Happy Money, The Science of Happier Spending written by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton.

Elizabeth Dunn is a Doctor and Professor of Social Psychology and Michael Norton is Professor of Marketing. Together, they have written this exciting book on how to increase the joy of spending your money. With 336 references, this book is based on very substantial science and research. With their academic background they take on the subject as real scientists / women with a humorous twist.

Based on the results of research and studies


The authors have created five different chapters. The five chapters focus on different ways to spend your money. Way to spend that lets you maximize your luck when you spend them. The five chapters are:

  1. Buy experiences
  2. Make it a pleasure
  3. Buy time
  4. Buy now consume later
  5. Investing in other

Buy experiences

It turns out that the material things, like fine homes to cool pens, giving us less happiness than experiences trips, concerts, fine restaurant visits, etc. This chapter is about what we humans think gives us happiness. For example, the authors talk about “The American Dream”. In the so typically contain a large and fine house, but in fact, study after study shows that a fine accommodation does not increase your happiness. It really gives us happiness is experience. A study shows for example that we the people are more excited when thinking of the experiences we have made in life than material purchases we made.

As a little one conclusion as to why experiences increases our happiness more than material purchases summarizes the authors as follows:

  • Experiences for you the same with other people, which creates a sense of social belonging.
  • Experiences create memorable stories that you can talk about the way forward.
  • Experiences are often node to which personality you are. Experiences enhances your sense of how you want to be.

Make it a pleasure


The English name of this chapter, “make it a treat.” The authors believe that we live in an abundance today. E.g. we can eat chocolate every day. Eating chocolate every day means that we do not experience it as something special. If instead we had forced ourselves to just eat chocolate once a month, we had experienced much greater happiness when we ate it. In this way, we have used the principle of “making it a treat”. Abundance is happiness worst enemy as the authors put it. Therefore, lack / shortage be happiness best friend.

A rather intriguing fact that was included in the book is that there is very weak evidence that happiness is linked to income. One explanation could be that those who earn a lot or have a lot of money subconsciously know that they can buy many nice things. But the possibility also means that they are more difficult to appreciate “the little things” in life.

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