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.