We’ve all heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.” However, research suggests that while money may not buy lasting joy, it can certainly enhance our lives if spent wisely. The key lies in how we spend our money.

On this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll explore a recent article on spending money to maximize your happiness.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] How we spend our money
  • [5:18] Consider purchases you make
  • [8:05] How to get more from your financial independence
  • [10:25] Explaining inherited IRA rules

Small purchases can lead to greater happiness

There is a widespread belief that saving up for big-ticket items brings more happiness, but research shows that frequent small pleasures can lead to greater joy. While the pleasure derived from large purchases diminishes quickly, the smaller things are less likely to be taken for granted which provides consistent gentle mood boosts.

To maintain the joy in small pleasures, it’s important not to overindulge. Treating yourself occasionally rather than constantly can make each experience more special. Creating a sense of artificial scarcity can enhance appreciation for the things you love.

Savor the planning

We’re all learning that experiential purchases, like vacations or concerts, bring more happiness than material goods since experiences provide lasting memories and stories. At the same time, experiences can be shared, enhancing social connections, which are crucial for happiness.

What many people don’t know is that the anticipation of an event often brings more joy than the event itself. Planning a vacation, for example, can be more enjoyable than the trip, since our imagination builds an idealized version of the experience.

By extending the anticipation period, we can savor the excitement longer. Additionally, taking more frequent mini-vacations instead of one big vacation can keep us in a constant state of looking forward to something.

Listen in to hear about the added benefit of training for something.

How will your purchase move you toward your goals?

When contemplating a purchase it is important to consider its long-term impact on your life. Knowing yourself can help to prevent regretful purchases. Consider how the purchase can move you forward toward your goals.

One of the most valuable things money can buy is time. Outsourcing chores or reducing work hours can free up time for activities that truly make you happy. However, the key is to use your free time wisely. Engaging in hobbies, learning new skills, or spending quality time with loved ones can significantly enhance happiness.

Financial independence means you can use your finances to become more independent. Outsourcing chores can buy back your time.

Spending on others improves happiness

Spending money on others can bring more joy than spending on oneself. Research supports the idea that pro-social spending strengthens relationships.

Buying gifts or donating to charity, improves happiness. This is because giving is a fundamental component of happiness. Watching someone’s joy as they receive a gift can also bring immense satisfaction.

Spend your money with intention, use your money to serve your goals, and use your goals as a filter for spending decisions.

Stick around for the latest book update and sign up for the newsletter to learn how to preorder and stay up to date on book giveaways!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Benjamin Brandt

Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on

Apple Podcasts,Stitcher,TuneIn,Podbean,Player FM,iHeart, orSpotify