Money Talks News: When Money Buys Happiness

"Do you think money can buy happiness?" "Not Really." "It can make you happier but it's not going to buy you happiness." "It's going to take away some worries for sure."

You hear it time and time again... money can't buy happiness. But some researchers disagree. We spoke to Michael Norton, Co-author of "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending." He says if you think money can't buy happiness, well maybe you're not spending it right.

"The way people usually spend their money doesn't make them happy. They buy stuff for themselves like cars and houses. And our research shows that if you spend your money in other ways, like for example giving money to other people or buying experiences, money can in fact buy happiness."

So what exactly are we supposed to do to maximize our happiness? Norton says change the way you're spending. Here are some ideas:

First, choose experiences. Social interaction often brings happiness, so spend on experiences. Next, spend on others. Whether you give money to a charity or buy someone a gift, it can make you happier.

And research suggests that's true even if the gift is small.

Another idea is spending that will reduce your stress. One example: If you're worried about your house, money spent on insurance spent on insurance might buy you peace of mind.

You could also buy time. If you spend several hours a week cleaning your house, and you can afford it, a cleaning service will give your time to pursue happier things. And finally, treat yourself- but infrequently.

You'll appreciate a dinner out more if you're not doing it every night.

Bottom line... money can't make you happy. But sometimes the way you spend it just might.

Want more ideas? Go to and just do a search for "happiness."

For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.