Your brain is hardwired for you to begin investing, but not as you might think. Psychology professor Elizabeth Dunn (@DunnHappyLabs) and Harvard Business School (@HarvardHBS) professor Michael Norton have teamed up to prove this to Millennials. In their book Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, the pair focus on sharing five key behaviors that will help harmonize your brain, wallet, and happiness.
Investing in others happens to be one of those key features to make your life better. Whether you are just starting to pay off student loans, building an emergency fund, or monitoring your spending, it is essential to absorb this lesson: giving more to charity, or causes you are interested in, makes you feel happier.
New research shows that spending even small amounts of money on others can make a difference for our own happiness.
To increase the impact of your giving, you can donate to a charity that you believe provides a massive effect on people’s lives. Find something local or an organization where you know the funds will be well utilized. Another mechanism to increase the impact of your gift is to couple a reward you typically give yourself and give it to someone else. This thoughtfulness furthers your gift. The art of giving is a learned behavior. By giving more of our hard earned money, you feel richer in the process.
Across the 136 countries studies in the Gallup World Poll, donating to charity had a similar relationship to happiness as doubling household income.
Investing in others is a wonderful way to start the holiday season. If you don’t feel like you can give financially, there are tons of ways to invest in others, consider a donation of time. Find somewhere to volunteer. The barrier to helping others only seems high when we concoct a mental hurdle. Remove it and start donating more time and money today.
The Millennial Money Makeover graduate knows that the rich life is about more than money. Investing in others and giving more than you receive is an intangible gift to yourself. Be generous and bold in your giving. Your brain will thank you.