What Would You Do If You Won the Lotto?
Find out why spending on family, friends and experiences makes us happy.
Inspired by our popular Ferratum Fridays (#FerratumFridays) Facebook competition where we award one lucky winner each week with £100 based on their response to how they would spend the winnings, below, we look into the research which shows why sharing money with others makes us happy.
Hitting The Jackpot
Business Insider published an interesting article on how previous lotto winners had spent their money.
While there are the not-so-surprising stories of winners spending their earnings on new cars and dream houses, there are also stories of sharing and community.
For example, one winner starting by treating thirteen family members to a vacation in Florida, a construction worker decided to continue working and donate his wages to a food bank, while another winner opened up a trust that would benefit her family.
Since running our Ferratum Friday competition, we´ve seen many examples of generosity and sharing.
Spending Money On Others
Multiple studies have concluded that spending money on others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves. This was confirmed by Michael Norton, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, who said in his TED talk that spending money on ourselves does not make us happier, however spending money on others can.
As explained in a post on the website Positive Psychology Program, spending money on others feels good because our brains have an inbuilt reward system - oxytocin - that manages how we interact with others. When we spend money to make our friends and family happy, our brain rewards us, which, in turn, makes us feel good.
Spending Money On Experiences
Spending our money on creating moments and experiences with our family and friends provide lasting happiness rather than the temporary happiness boost we might feel when purchasing material goods.
In a previous article called Life Is About Experiences, we explained how life is richer when we create moments and experiences that remind us that we are alive.
It´s easy to get stuck in our routines, but if we don´t make a conscious effort, it´s possible to go through life living each day the same as the one before. However, anytime we make an effort to do anything, the probability of creating a lasting memory increase. It doesn´t even have to be an earth-shattering activity; it´s simply anytime we do something out of the ordinary, it becomes an experience.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Want to enhance your experiences even further? Share it with a friend or loved one. A single enjoyable evening out with friends or family creates a memory which can be recalled and relived over again.
Maybe it’s a memory of a vacation, your childhood, or a magical evening you spent together with a friend, whatever it may be, it´s an experience that left a mark and an experience that was significant enough to remember.
Need more motivation to spend time with family or friends? A study covering more than 300,000 participants across all ages showed that adults with more frequent social interactions, such as going to the movies, dinner, or drinks with friends, live longer and experience less stress.
The best investment we can make is moments spent with friends and family – it´s the gift that keeps on giving.
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