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Happy Money:The Science of Smarter Spending

Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

If you think money can’t buy happiness, then you’re not spending it right, say behavior science experts Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. According to the duo, most people know they need to earn, save, and invest their money, but when it comes to actually spending that money, we wrongly assume we’d be happier with x amount of dollars more. Instead, Dunn and Norton suggest five spending principles: 1) Buy Experiences; 2) Make It a Treat; 3) Buy Time; 4) Pay Now, Consume Later; 5) Invest in Others. They also offer ways to break out of the consumer cycle of buying ever-bigger, expensive purchases like cars and houses.