It has been found that time well spent is better than cash as a predictor of happiness.
The value of extra leisure time is a better barometer of happiness levels than cash flow. Money cannot directly buy you happiness, although it helps. Half a dozen studies were conducted with 4,600 participants.
There were equal numbers of people who valued time or money in the group. Their choices determined their happiness quotient. It appeared to be the case that valuing your time and spending it engaged in meaningful pursuits was a better strategy for being happy than merely earning tons of cash.
Time was the great priority that people laid more emphasis upon than money. The finding was published in an online journal. The elderly in the group in particular gave greater value to time rather than merely money-making activity.
The youth though were tilted towards spending cash on items and services. As individuals began to grow some grey hair, they also mature with regard to the sources of happiness they sought. They make the journey from materialism to a more experience-based humanism.
Separate surveys were made and they yielded conclusive evidence that not objects but experiences led to proper happiness.
Such questions as whether participants would like an expensive home with a short commute or an ordinary residence with a long commute were asked on a regular basis.
Different salaries with higher and lower working hours were also given to participants as viable options. Neither gender nor amount of money earned per month had any link with the results.
However, there was a slight gap in the study. Those who were below the poverty line were not included. They would probably give money more importance for obvious reasons.
It was found that people who gave time more importance than money could plan ahead and thus prioritize their lives. Instead of becoming a part of the rat race, they could relax and enjoy their days on earth.
By working fewer hours at the office, paying someone to do extra chores around the house or lending their assistance to a charitable cause, they could better their existence.
This strategy yielded greater satisfaction and joy than just looking at the dollar sign as the be-all and end-all of a well-spent life.
Even if small changes were made, they made a big difference in happiness levels. People wanted more leisure time to enjoy life to the hilt instead of working extra hours for the sake of putting more money in the bank.
"Having more free time is likely more important for happiness than having more money," she said. "Even giving up a few hours of a paycheck to volunteer at a food bank may have more bang for your buck in making you feel happier."
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This new research was published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.