Spending money to save time can help reduce stress, according to a published report.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, asserts that happiness can be improved by spending some extra dollars to save some time for those people who don’t have a lot of time to spare.
“People who spent money to buy themselves time, such as by outsourcing disliked tasks, reported greater overall life satisfaction,” Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School and lead author of the study, told The New York Times. The study was based on a series of surveys from several countries. Researchers did not see the same effect when people used the money for material goods.
In the study, nearly 4,500 people were surveyed in the United States, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands. They were asked about time-saving purchases such as ordering takeout food, taking a taxi cab, hiring household help or paying someone to run an errand, the Times reported.
In a second round, using a broader definition of those purchases, the panel surveyed nearly 1,800 Americans.
About 28 percent of those in the first round and half in the second reported spending money to save time, the Times reported. In both cases, those who made such purchases reported greater life satisfaction than those who did not.
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