Money Can Buy Happiness? It’s About Time.

New Research Reveals a Previously Unexamined Route to Happiness: Spending Money to Buy Time

If you were given $40 on the condition that you had to spend it, what would you spend it on? What type of purchase do you think would increase your happiness?

Man holding money and smiling, symbolizing his happiness

If you’re like 98% of people studied, you wouldn’t choose to spend the $40 on time-saving services such as someone else cleaning, shopping, or cooking for you. But new research suggests you might want to rethink that decision. (more…)

How to Blow $4,000 on a $56 Vacation

It’s All Too Easy to Do

When people go on vacation, they often pay face value. According to Forbes, the average vacation costs $1,145 per person or $4,580 for a family of four. I love family vacations because I like going on an adventure with my wife and kids. But I would never consider paying over $4,000 for a vacation. And I don’t want you to, either.

The three kids and I on the beach during our vacation to San Diego

On my last two family vacations combined, I spent less than $100 total on hotels and flights. Earlier this year, we took a $5,000+ vacation to Cabo San Lucas for $42. Last week, we took a short (2 night) vacation to San Diego for $56. Had we paid face value, the hotel and flights would have cost $4,012.

If vacations are part of your life—or if you’d like them to be—you should seriously consider a total paradigm shift in terms of how much you think they need to cost.

In this post I’ll share how we spent so little on a great vacation. And I’ll show how you can do similarly. (more…)

How to Save Money on Rental Car Insurance

Car Rental Insurance is Confusing and Expensive. But Should You Get It?

You just landed at the airport, ready to start your beach vacation. You can’t wait to change your sweaty clothes for a swimsuit. So you head to the car rental agency to grab your car and be on your way. But first, you must make a series of important decisions that you feel completely ill-equipped to make. Do you want collision coverage on the car? What about liability insurance? Seems expensive. But the agent swears you’d be crazy not to purchase the coverage he’s selling.

Long lines at rental car agencies as renters contemplate what rental car insurance to purchase

Your eyes begin to glaze over. You quickly initial here, here, and there. Depending on your decision, you either just forked over a bunch of cash or waived coverage. Either way, one thing is likely: you don’t have good reasons for the decision you made.

I know, because I’m right there with you. Or at least I was until last week.

Over the past week, I’ve done a bunch of research to try to answer the question: When renting a car, should I buy rental car insurance?

Following is the fruit of my research. It will shape whether I accept or decline rental car insurance moving forward. (more…)

Want What Matters Most? Waste Time on It.

The Importance of Wasting Time, Part 2 of 2

In my previous post, I argued that in certain situations wasting time can, paradoxically, lead to greater efficiency. But there are higher goods than efficiency. And those goods often cannot be obtained in any other way than by wasting time on them.

My daughter and her great grandma, my dad’s mom

In this post I’ll provide examples of such goods and a principle for when to waste time in their pursuit. (more…)

Why Wasting Time can be More Efficient

The Importance of Wasting Time, Part 1 of 2

It is important to waste time. Yes, to waste it. Probably not what you’d expect someone who loves efficiency as much as I do to say. But there are two good reasons to waste time. First, sometimes wasting it is, paradoxically, more efficient. Secondly, some things in life are more important than efficiency. Wasting time can honor those things.

Baby falling asleep

In this post I’ll show how wasting time can sometimes be more efficient. In my next post in this two-part series, I’ll argue for wasting time in certain circumstances where it doesn’t lead to greater efficiency. And in each post I’ll provide a framework for helping you decide when to waste time vs. when not to.

Here’s why wasting time can be more efficient: (more…)