A new research dared to ask if we should spend money to save time for the sake of happiness. For those asking themselves whether or not to order takeout or hire that tile and grout cleaning Perth company for the sake of convenience, a recent study suggests that that wallet might just be worth it.
The recent study, published on the last week of July in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, suggested that spending money in order to avail convenience services to save time is capable of reducing stress regarding the limited time of the day, leading to improved happiness.
According to Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Ashley Whillans, people who spend money to afford themselves extra time, such as by outsourcing tasks, tend to report greater life satisfaction. Prof. Whillans is the lead author of the study, which was built on several surveys held across different countries across the globe. Researchers of the different studies noted a common trend: that effect of improved happiness did not occur for people that spent money for material goods.
In one round of the study, Prof. Whillans and the team surveyed about 4,500 people in the US, Canada, Demark and the Netherlands on timesaving and well-being purchases, including ordering takeout, hiring help for the household, or having cleaners come in to handle work. In another round, the surveyors asked the same of about 1,800 other Americans, with broader definitions set for the terms.
About 28% of the first round and half of the second answered that they spent money to save time. In both rounds, those who admitted to making such purchases reported greater satisfaction compared to those who didn’t, irrelevant to where the individual in question fell on the income spectrum, though the researchers do admit in their scope that the same may not apply to the poorest of the poor.
To verify the results, the research team held an experiment involving several dozen Canadians, whom they handed $40 on two consecutive weekend and asked to spend money, either on timesaving purchases or material objects, then noted the participants mood at the end of the day.
As predicted by the research, those who spent money to save time reported reduced stress and improved well-being, whilst those who spent on goods did not report the same effect.
Despite the benefits, the researchers found that spending money to save time, such as hiring a tile and grout cleaning Perth team to handle tasks for you, is not as popular as one might expect. The team surveyed 800 Dutch millionaires, with only a slight majority admitting to spending money on time saving services.