Cooking for yourself after a long day at work can be annoying, but it saves you lots of money. On the other hand, going to a restaurant or getting takeout takes away the stress of having to figure out what to make (and then make it). So which will it be? Well, consider this: a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending money on time-saving services makes you happier. Takeout it is!
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This rule applies to people from all socioeconomic backgrounds, except for "the poorest of the poor," because it increased well-being and reduced the stress of not having enough time. Buying material items did not have the same effect.
Despite the increase in happiness, people are less likely to spend money on time-saving services, even when they can afford it — of the 818 Dutch millionaires surveyed, just under half of them reported spending any money on outsourcing their chores. So next time you feel like ordering delivery, don't feel so guilty — and maybe look into getting a housekeeper, too.
Want to Be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests [New York Times]