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Spend Money on Other People
In a recent Gallup Poll of more than 100,000 people from around the globe, we found that income was closely linked to life satisfaction. Money may not be as an important a factor in personal fulfillment as, say, genetics or social relationships, but finances do affect your well-being. The good news is that this means that money can add to your happiness if you spend it wisely. Research by Elizabeth Dunn, at the University of British Columbia, for instance, shows that spending money—even small amounts—on other people can produce more happiness than a similar amount of money spent on yourself! Even better, you don't have to sell your jewelry or trade in your 401(k) to afford a "pro-social purchase." Participants in Dunn's study reported being happier after spending even $5 on a friend.