For a lot of families, they try to cut out all of the unnecessary expenses in their day-to-day lives in order to meet their financial ends. For example, they will forgo that cup of hot, brewing coffee at Starbucks before work. That, or they will have their kids pack their lunches rather than buy them at the school cafeteria or reduce their phone, cable, electricity and water bills at home by preserving energy or being as economical as possible. Yet, there’s a new study that suggests parents shouldn’t be cheap, at least not when it comes to their happiness.
According to a new study, if you spend your money on a babysitter or a housekeeper, chances are that it might buy you a little bit of happiness. That, or at least some extra time on your hands. And that’s something we could definitely use more in our lives, right?
The findings, which were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that “buying time” can help moms and dads feel much happier in their lives. It beats out retail therapy or the instant gratification you get from seeing multiple Amazon Prime boxes at your doorstep.
The researchers tested 60 people in an assignment. They asked the participants to spend $40 on a time-saving purchase during one particular weekend. Some of them were asked to either pay someone to mow their lawn or grab a cab instead of taking a bus. The next weekend they asked the participants to spend $40 on a material object, such as clothes, shoes or accessories. The results founds that those who spent money on buying time were far happier than those who purchased material things.
“People who hire a housecleaner or pay the kid next door to mow the lawn might feel like they're being lazy," study lead author Ashley Whillans, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, said in a press release. “But our results suggest that buying time has similar benefits for happiness as having more money."
For a lot of parents, and especially moms, this doesn’t come as a surprise at all. After all, if there is one thing that moms would love to do more of, it’s rest and relax. Believe us when we say that no mom out there will object to someone cleaning their home or watching their kids for them while they take a nap on the couch in the middle of the day. “Nap time” is something we would all love to buy.