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The fine art of deciding when to spring for what you want.

Some expenses are no-brainers — food, shelter, heat. Others are a seemingly endless source of doubt and equivocation: morning lattes, new stainless flatware, a long-dreamed-of trip to Thailand. These are the expenses that can leave us (me) anxious and conflicted.

Despite the old saying, research shows that money can buy happiness, so figuring out how to make the most of scarce discretionary dollars is an effort well worth making, say experts in the burgeoning field of positive psychology. “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right” is the title of an article co-authored by Harvard professor Daniel T. Gilbert, author of the nationally bestselling Stumbling on Happiness. Among the reported findings:

  • Purchases made with the primary goal of acquiring life experiences out-perform those made with the goal of acquiring a material good or object.
  • Spending that improves our connections with others, such as buying a friend a gift or taking them to dinner, yields outsized happiness returns.
  • Small, frequent pleasures are a better bet than fewer big-ticket splurges.

…to read this article in full, visit leading US entrepreneurial resource, Entrepreneur.com