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http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/when-money-buys-happiness/

The article is about the most expensive stuff we spend on, and which ones were the most happiness or unhappiness inducing.
On the happiness and expensive list: houses, higher education, travel electronics
On the unhappiness and expensive list: Children, marriage ceremonies (the stress of the ceremony, not the actual marriage itself), divorce, taxes, insurance, and for some reason boats are very very unhappy inducing.

On the happy but cheap list: sharing meals with friends, alcohol, pets, hobbies, classes, bikes brought more happiness then cars.

First trend: some people commented that there was a pretty good match between their most expensive purchases and those that gave the most happiness:
Second trend: many comments noted that the happiness items were often experiences rather than physical goods – especially experiences that were social, memorable, educational, adventurous, or altruistic:

As for me... hmm.. I guess for me my most expensive purchases have been my house, which is a mix between happy and sad inducing. I loved college but didn't pay for it.

So I guess my most expensive and happiest stuff I've bought:
My Siberian cat, IPhone, Dance camp, my outdoor trips like the Appalachian trails, kayaking in Oregon , my awesome crate and barrel sofa

My most expensive and not happy inducing:
It may be my condo ($a lot), I think I would be okay renting a house. I love that I can decorate it, but the maintenance is stressful.
Car maintenance is stressful

My not expensive but happy inducing:
- dance classes
- dinners with friends
- movie nights at the drafhouse
- good books
- good food

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Comments

dnivie
Jul. 3rd, 2009 08:53 am (UTC)
read that
I read that, and I agree it's fascinating. I think you may have misunderstood the study slightly though.

There wasn't any "unhappiness" list, there was only 2 lists. One with your most expensive items/experiences, and one with the experiences/items that have given you the most happiness.

Some items are both (expensive and happiness-generating), and some appear significantly more often on one list than on the other. children, for example. Makes perfect sense: *everyone* who has children will agree they're expensive, but there'll be some people for which the children hasn't generated a lot of happiness.

My most expensive purchases:

* House
* Education
* Cars
* Travels

The things that have given me the most happiness:
* Books
* Travel
* Penpals
* Being outdoors

It's slightly unfair to consider education a cost, I think, because though my education cost money, it's given me a much higher salary than I would otherwise have, thus it's a net win, not a net loss.

ripresa
Jul. 3rd, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: read that
I guess it would be an expensive but not necessarily happiness inducing list.
desfontaines
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: read that
It'd be nice if more people realized that they didn't HAVE to have children. I suspect a lot of the people who have found less happiness in their children are the ones who really didn't want them in the first place, but didn't take measures to NOT have them or thought it was what they were supposed to do.