Reports The Top 5 Reasons Spending Less Will Make You Happier

Share Article finds that being frugal is associated with valuing achievement, openness to self development, and ultimately smarter, healthier, happier spending habits.

Beyond The Purchase

On top of not using their money to effectively increase their happiness, Spendthrifts are prone to compulsive buying, maladaptive repetitive buying associated with low self-esteem and depression.

New findings from the Personality and Well-being laboratory at San Francisco State University show that there are distinct differences between tightwads, those who have trouble spending money, and spendthrifts, those who have trouble not spending money. Data from shows there are five distinct advantages to being a tightwad.

Researchers at were investigating how consumers who are able to practice restraint in purchasing behavior are different than those who are unable by examining predictors of happiness from 30 different surveys. The results indicated that being a tightwad, someone who has a hard time spending money, comes with five important benefits.

#1 Tightwads use their money wisely. There are numerous articles in the consumer research that show buying experiences, like going to concerts and dining out, provides consumers with more happiness than buying material items, like jewelry and clothing. This data shows that tightwads have a tendency to buy more experiences than material items. This data also tells us that spendthrifts tend to buy more material items than experiences and therefore do not enjoy the same benefits as more thrifty consumers.

#2 Tightwads practice healthy spending habits. On top of not using their money to effectively increase their happiness, Spendthrifts are prone to compulsive buying, maladaptive repetitive buying associated with low self-esteem and depression. Spendthrifts are also more associated with more impulsive buying, buying without thinking. The Tightwad's, also associated with higher conscientiousness in the data, seem better adapted to avoid these mental health issues.

#3 Tightwads are not so easily influenced. Trusted advice is not as valuable as having the ability to make up one's own mind. Tightwads are less susceptible to having their mind's made up by others. Spendthrifts are more likely to possess a desire to comply to others.

#4 Tightwads have eyes on the prize. Tightwads not only value achievement more than spendthrifts but also are more open to self-development. This combination makes it more likely for Tightwads to find success professionally and perhaps at home. A strong correlation between Tightwads and positive emotions, specifically joy and contentment, suggests that exercising financial restraint may inspire happiness all on it's own.

#5 Tightwads are not what you think. There is 16th century character depicted in plays as an old miserly man with tight purse strings. He was portrayed a a wretched old man who never had any fun. However, considering what these researchers at have shown perhaps you can see that a Tightwad is someone who is wise, healthy, happy, independent and highly-motivated.

To better understand the benefits of specific consumer choices, we continue to investigate the relationships between consumer preferences, psychological needs, happiness, and values at our website, (an academic website dedicated to research and public education). At BeyondThePurchase.Org we help people make the connection between their spending habits – how do you spend your money and who do you spend it on – and their happiness. To learn about what might be influencing how you think about and spend your money, Register with Beyond The Purchase, then take a few of our spending habits quizzes:

Which spending decisions will make you happiest? Take our Spending Choices and Happiness survey and on your feedback page you will learn how to spend your money to be happier.

How happy are you these days? Take our Happiness and Life Satisfaction quiz and find out your happiness score.

Some people are gadget heads and some are foodies. Which do you spend your money on? The Experiential Buying Scale provides you with personalized feedback to learn what kind of things you tend to acquire.

With these insights, your can better understand the ways in which your financial decisions affect your happiness.

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Graham Hill
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