We're often told money can't buy us happiness. But now scientists beg to differ. They say it can make us happy – as long as we spend it on someone else.
Giving to charity, or buying presents for friends and family, is the secret to contentment. In tests, those who gave money away were far happier than others who spent the same cash on holidays, cars and luxuries for themselves.
Giving away as little as a couple of pounds every day is enough to significantly boost happiness levels, the researchers found. Their study helps explain polls which have shown that although we have far higher disposable incomes than our grandparents did 50 years ago, we are no more happy. And it also suggests that philanthropists such as Microsoft boss Bill Gates, who has given away billions, must be astonishingly content.
Professor Elizabeth Dunn, of the University of British Columbia in Canada, said: "We wanted to test our theory that how people spend their money is at least as important as how much money they earn."
Her team conducted three studies. In one, they asked 632 respondents to rate their general happiness, reveal their annual income and provide a detailed breakdown of their monthly spending - including how much they spend on themselves, gave to charity and spent on presents.
Professor Dunn said: "Regardless of income, those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not."
Source - Daily Mail