Money Lessons You Don't Need To Follow
What used to be bedrock advice for your parents' generation might not be the best strategy in the 21st century. Here's how to keep pace with the brave new post–piggy bank world.
Old Lesson: When You Have Some Extra Money, It's Time for a New Couch
It sounds like the right advice: Use all your money to buy actual things that actually exist (and in a pinch could be sold on eBay). In the past 10 years, there's been a lot of discussion about the money-happiness dynamic, and it turns out that while a new couch may make your house better, it might not be the best way to make your life better. Elizabeth Dunn, PhD, University of Virginia, co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending
, has done extensive research on how money can "buy happiness." Her advice? "Seek experiences: Vacations and time with friends provides more happiness than simply buying more clothes or widgets for the house. The money spent is more meaningful and memorable." Your parents may think it sounds impractical, but this isn't just about a bank account—it's about a life. And it's not theirs (anymore), it's yours.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.