The one thing I did not expect when I attended HubSpot’s Inbound 2013 was to learn about prosperity, but I did just that. I sat in on a presentation by Elizabeth Dunn, a Professor of Psychology from Canada. She has spent her career studying the correlation between happiness and money. She knows so much about happy money she even wrote a book , which I highly recommend. 


BehaviorGap Happiness vs. IncomeNow many of us have seen this graph that shows the startling statistic that after a person earns $75,000 annually their happiness flat lines! The Mackey Advisors team does not approve of this phenomena one bit!  But there is hope, and Elizabeth Dunn has showed us the way. Here are the 3 tried, true, and tested ways to create happier money. 


  1. Buy experiences, not things!

    Experiences are more satisfying for a few reasons. First, humans naturally love to tell stories, and experiences make great stories! Second, experience connects us, and a perfect example of this is Tough Mudder. The key ingredients to a great experience are to make it memorable, make it unique, and make it social. 

  2. Make it a treat.

    When we have things in abundance we do not enjoy them as much, or at all. When something is always available to us we may never get around to enjoying it (when was the last time you went to a museum in your hometown?).  The key ingredients to making something a very special treat are novelty, disruption, and limited availability. 

  3. Invest in others.

    Elizabeth found that at the end of the day people were happier when they spent their money on others, not themselves. And this isn’t just in the US. This is a deep seeded component of human nature; it can be seen around the globe. In fact, the joy of giving is so inherent that we can seen the behavior in toddlers!


So what are you going to do with your new found knowledge? Take your partner out for a night on the town, book that vacation you have been putting off, or maybe give some of your bonus to a charity you have always wanted to support? Its your choice. Go forth and get happy!


For all of Grace’s Inbound 2013 blogs please click here.