Monday, November 17, 2014

Can Money Buy Happiness?

The title is from an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, 10 November 2014.  The short answer is, "Yes."

The longer answer is more interesting.  It starts with debt as being very debilitating.  No debt and no savings is the neutral position for happiness.  Savings is pretty much a guarantee of happiness.  Not big happiness the way debt leads to big unhappiness.  They are inverses.  So I suggest that lack of debt leads to a happy life.  The article was probably a couple thousand words and has way more supporting detail.

The other very interesting revelation was that the purchase of "things" leads to short term elation and long term... well there is no long term up side since we grow used to the things we have and they are familiar, uninteresting.  The experiences we purchase lead to short term elation and long term satisfaction.

This has to do with the evaluation of Boat vs House.  Boat has lots of experiences and few things.  Boats don't have enough space to fill up with stuff.  Every time the boat shifts its anchorage, there is a new experience and a new set of rewards.  Houses, one notes by observation, fill up with stuff faster than they deliver experiences.

Mission?  Make the house experience richer.  Putter more, purchase less.

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