Financial Stress And Purchase Happiness: How To Fix It

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With interest rates continuing to rise, inflation at a 40-year high and student debt exploding, there’s plenty of reason to feel nervous about your finances. But here’s some information that might make it easier to cut back on your spending: People actually get less happiness from purchases they make when feeling financial stress, according to recent research from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Why? “That feeling of financial constraint leads people to revisit their purchase and think about what else they could have done with that money, also known as ‘opportunity cost,'” Gavan Fitzsimons, Fuqua marketing professor who co-authored the findings, tells the Journal of Consumer Research. So, “every time they think about that purchase, they are going to be less happy with what they did end up buying.”

And that held true whether people bought things or experiences, at whatever the cost, according to the “Spending and Happiness” research performed by Fitzsimons and his team.

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