Time is money, that’s what they say. And they also say money can’t buy happiness, however, a new study by research teams at Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia show that time, money and happiness are all linked together with surprising results. The study seemed to show that people who bought time ended up with greater happiness.
The study surveyed over 6,000 adults in the United States, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Researchers wanted to see who was buying time for themselves and if that created a greater sense of happiness overall. Buying time in this study refers to those who might outsource tasks like house cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc, and hire someone to do those jobs leaving more free time.
It might seem like a luxury to be able to pay to have someone do our chores for us. But the study surveyed all income levels and found the results the same “across the income spectrum,” according to BC psychology professor and the study’s senior author Elizabeth Dunn.
In one experiment, a group of individuals were given 80 dollars, split evenly over two weekends. The first weekend they were asked to spend on a time-saving task and the other weekend a material item. And the time-saving task ultimately made people more content.
It’s not how much you make, or the number of vacation days you have, or the things you possess, it’s about your time and how you spend it.
Another part of the study talked about how few people actually reserve their money for time-saving tasks, even if they could afford it. Next time you’re looking at your lawn with that weighing sense of, “needs to get done but when?”, consider budgeting your time elsewhere and hiring someone for the job. Your wallet might take a bit of a hit but the time you free up to spend on yourself will more than makeup for it.