Some say happiness comes from family, travelling, and taking time to appreciate the little things. Of course those things are fulfilling — but let’s cut the New Age crap and talk turkey. What really fuels happiness is cash. Cold, hard cash.
A recent study from the University of Cambridge dispelled that whole "money can't buy you happiness" mantra that’s been jammed down our throats. Though previous studies found little correlation between wealth and happiness, they didn't consider a key variable: when money is spent on purchases suited to the consumer's personality, happiness is a very real outcome.
The study examined transactions made by 625 participants in the UK over six months. Spending behaviors were divided into 59 categories, and participants were categorized into the “big five” personality traits: openness to experience (artistic vs. traditional), conscientiousness (self-controlled vs. easygoing), extraversion (outgoing vs. reserved), agreeableness (compassionate vs. competitive), and neuroticism (prone to stress vs. stable).
The Telegraph reports that those “who spent more money on purchases which matched their personality were found to be happier, with spending in the right way mattering more than total income or spending.”
For example, people who were categorized as “conscientious” invested more in health and wellness than those who were defined as “easygoing.” When they did, participants reported feeling happier.
Sandra Matz was one of the researchers behind the study. She told The Telegraph that their “findings suggest that spending money on products that help us express who we are as individuals could turn out to be as important to our well-being as finding the right job, the right neighborhood or even the right friends and partners.”
Hey may have been unscrupulous when it came to getting paid, but maybe Michael Douglas's infamous Wall Street shark Gordon Gekko was onto something when he said, "Greed is good."