In the least necessary question of our age, researchers have asked if money can buy happiness.
While broke millennials get blamed for destroying just about (and including!) everything, some Canadian researchers have discovered that if you have money and use it to buy your way into pleasant situations and out of unpleasant situations, it can be beneficial to your mental well-being.
But hey, avocado-toast-and-student-loan-induced-poverty-havin'-folks, there's good news. The research showed that across all levels of income, any amount of money spent on time-saving services resulted in a reduction of 'time pressure', elevated feelings of which contribute directly to feelings of unhappiness. According to Professor Elizabeth Dunn of British Columbia University:
“We thought the effects might only hold up for people with quite a bit of disposable income, but to our surprise, we found the same effects across the income spectrum.”
So in a sense, it's not that money buys happiness, it's that having money and using said money to 'buy time' has a negative effect on experienced time pressure and its resultant lowered feelings of life satisfaction. Or, more ably put, money can buy us not feeling the things that make us feel not good. Simple, right?
Just don't confuse 'buying time' with 'buying stuff'. Retail therapy showed no benefit in the same study. While it might feel good to lock down that pair of Nikes you've had your eye on for months, if you don't use those Nikes with an investment of personal time you might be better served using that cash to get some chores done. It's time, not things, that has an effect on this one very specific stressor that is but one element of a staggeringly vast mosaic that comprises our economic and mental well being.
Now if you'll excuse me, I should get back to work.
H/T: The Independent