Money doesn’t buy happiness – unless you spend it on others

We know we can't buy happiness, but that doesn't stop us from trying.

PsyBlog recently looked at studies that seem to indicate that money can have an impact on our personal happiness — if we spend it on others.

Why does "prosocial spending" make us happy?

"It's partly because giving to others makes us feel good about ourselves. It helps promote a view of ourselves as responsible and giving people, which in turn makes us feel happy. It's also partly because spending money on others helps cement our social relationships. And people with stronger social ties are generally happier," the blogger writes.

A new study out of Britain found that 64 per cent of those surveyed linked "treating friends and family to household happiness levels."

"The value of shared experiences with friends and family goes beyond just the price tag. Unlike the treats you buy for yourself, the research demonstrates how important treating our loved ones is for our happiness and wellbeing," said Joy Reymond of Unum UK, the income-protection company that commissioned the research.

Neatorama sums up the circle of spending-on-others happiness:

"The consequences of this notion can work in a circle. Not only do you want to buy gifts that bring happiness to others, it will make them even more happy to know that they gifts they give you are treasured."

The old adage is right: It's better to give than receive.

(Reuters photo)