If you have a few extra bucks that you don’t need for necessities like rent or loan payments, consider shopping for happiness.From ancient philosophers to current experts in behavioral economics, people have been pondering the link between money and happiness. Among them is author Gretchen Rubin, who thinks about happiness for a living. She’s written several books on happiness, including “The Happiness Project” and the forthcoming “Outer Order, Inner Calm.”She helped think through the question of whether you can use discretionary money to buy happiness. Short answer: probably not. But you can definitely spend money to increase it. A lifetime happiness shopping list might go like this.Buy better relationshipsKey to happiness is how you deal with other humans. It’s a recurring theme. “So if you’re spending your money to broaden relationships or deepen relationships, that’s a good way to spend your money,” Rubin said. Use discretionary money to attend a college reunion or a friend’s destination wedding.A corollary, especially for younger adults: Buy a social life. Young adults often experience an intense period of socializing with friends, searching for life partners and networking for career opportunities — all potential sources of happiness. Maybe increase social bar-and-restaurant spending or pay for… Read full this story
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