Happy Money

Happy Money (2013) by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton is a well, written, fun to read book about how to spend money to increase your happiness. Dunn & Norton are Psychologists look at the best ways to increase happiness and back up their work with solid psychology.

There are five chapters that tell you to spend money to buy experiences, make things a treat, buy time by spending on things that allow you to avoid what you don’t like doing, paying now and consuming later and spending on other people to make you happy. In particular you can spend money on others people who write book reviews that you read, the authors can show with science that this will make you happy.

As with most pop-psychology books the downsides of the advice are glossed over. With gift giving there is no mention of the destruction of value that often goes along with gifts. However perhaps this explains the value loss at Christmas that economists often bring up. Also following the rest of their advice giving experiences to people you like and doing something with them is an ideal gift.

The book is definitely worth a read. It’s pleasantly short and cleverly written. For anyone who has read much popular psychology a number of the points may be well known, but there will presumably be something new for almost everyone. 


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