A Harvard professor says most of us overlook a simple way to be happier because it costs money

grocery shopping
  • If you want to spend money wisely, consider paying someone to do your laundry or grocery shopping .
  • Eliminating stressful things from your to-do list frees up time for more meaningful activities, like spending time with family or friends, which can lead to more happiness .
  • That's according to a Harvard Business School professor, who says that many of us ignore this simple way to be happier because spending the money makes us feel guilty.

We all want more time to spend doing things we enjoy.

But according to Harvard Business School professor Ashley Whillans, we aren't doing the one thing that can afford us more time: Spending money to eliminate our most stressful daily or weekly tasks.

During a podcast with the Harvard Business Review's Curt Nickisch, Whillans says exchanging money for more free time can make us happier. Specifically, "using money to buy ourselves out of negative experiences," like washing and folding laundry or cleaning house .

For Whillans, its opting for a pricier apartment close to work, where everything is within walking distance and there's no tedious commute, she said. Whillans' research shows that "buying time" in this way leads to greater happiness and less stress. But often, something is holding us back.

"I find in my studies that people feel really guilty about outsourcing even though they're giving up money to have more time that they've earned," Whillans said.

Paying someone to deliver meals, wash and fold our laundry, or mow the lawn makes us feel like a burden, she said. We also feel like it shows others we're not capable of doing our own chores.

The best way to counteract those feelings of guilt, Whillans said, is to focus on the value you're gaining. The key to ensuring that free time leads to greater happiness is to make it meaningful, she said.

"Just the simple act of thinking about giving up money to have more free time seems to make people plan their time a little bit better. If Im going to incur this cost to have this free time, then Im going make sure I really enjoy the free time that I have," Whillans said.

Whenever we open our wallet, she argues, we should be asking ourselves "Is this money changing the way that I spend my time?"

See Also:

SEE ALSO: A self-made millionaire who retired at 30 says the 2 best ways to build long-term wealth don't require working overtime or obsessing about the stock market

DON'T MISS: How much money you should save depends on 3 things

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Inside the most expensive school in Ghana where kindergarten costs GHc176K a year

Inside the most expensive school in Ghana where kindergarten costs GHc176K a year

Top 10 African countries with the most expensive gas prices in 2022

Top 10 African countries with the most expensive gas prices in 2022

Top 10 African Countries with the highest inflation rates in 2022

Top 10 African Countries with the highest inflation rates in 2022

I was a one time mechanic, says Khaid as he narrates how Sydney Talker discovered him

"I was a one time mechanic", says Khaid as he narrates how Sydney Talker discovered him

When and where to watch Super Eagles of Nigeria vs São Tomé and Príncipe

When and where to watch Super Eagles of Nigeria vs São Tomé and Príncipe

Owo attack: Buhari condemns killing of worshippers in Catholic Church

Owo attack: Buhari condemns killing of worshippers in Catholic Church

BREAKING: INEC confirms Machina, denies Lawan Yobe North senatorial seat

BREAKING: INEC confirms Machina, denies Lawan Yobe North senatorial seat

Owo massacre: Amotekun arrests suspects in connection with church attack

Owo massacre: Amotekun arrests suspects in connection with church attack

APC Chairman Adamu announces Ahmed Lawan as consensus candidate

APC Chairman Adamu announces Ahmed Lawan as consensus candidate