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The Key to Happiness Resides in Time, Not Money

images-7In today’s economy it is common for most adults to spend the majority of their waking hours at work. Americans are very focused on making money, and put little value on free time.

There was a period in my life that I would go to work in the morning when the sun was coming up, and I would leave work well after the sun went down.

Every time this happened I felt sad, even though I had made a sufficient amount of money that day and my bills were paid.

What would happen if we started valuing time over money?

In order for this to happen, may people would have to take a pay cut by reducing hours working, which means they would probably have to  downsize, sacrifice, and trim their budget.

Surely that means they will be less happy, right?

Not necessarily. Happiness is a state of being.

According to an article titled This Belief About Time And Money Increases Happiness published by PsyBlog:

It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritizing time is associated with greater happiness.

As people age, they often want to spend time in more meaningful ways than just making money. Having more free time is likely more important for happiness than having more money. Even giving up a few hours of a paycheck to volunteer at a food bank may have more bang for your buck in making you feel happier.

It’s unfortunate that many people simply cannot afford to dedicate more of themselves to free time, rather than making money. But if you’re someone who has found that the endless hours spent at the office are starting to affect your happiness, maybe it’s time to detach yourself from work a little bit.

You may just find that the key to happiness resides in memories made, not dollars collected.

This Belief About Time And Money Increases Happiness – PsyBlog. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Key to Happiness Resides in Time, Not Money

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2016). The Key to Happiness Resides in Time, Not Money. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Jun 2016
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