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7 Things You Might Believe About Money That Are Totally Untrue

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Think that sticking to a budget helps you save, a big salary is the key to becoming wealthy, and clipping coupons isn't worth the time? Read and weep!


Why weepings? Was there anything you didn't already know?

I stick to a budget, painfully!

My budget is simple: I can't afford anything so I don't buy anything.

No money no problems?

Why budgets are no good:

That’s what we’ve always heard, and we feel guilty about not taking grandpa’s advice. But researchers from Brigham Young University and Emory University found that budgeting can sometimes backfire. They conducted a study revealing that people who shopped with a spending limit actually forked over 50 percent more on a single item than consumers who weren’t budgeting.

“The results were always the same – a preference for higher-quality, higher-priced items,” said Jeff Larson, the study’s co-author. “The most surprising aspect of this study was that people’s decision-making process can change so easily. Doing something as simple as asking, ‘Hey, how much would you budget for this product?’ completely changes their thinking.”

Larson suggested that when consumers shop for an item with a budget in mind, they tend to gravitate towards items priced close to the budget's upper limit. So when people had $1,000 budgeted for a flat-screen TV, they tended to pass over the cheaper items and look at TV that cost between $800 and $1,000 —without even checking out the features.

He noted that perhaps consumers would be better off basing their selection on qualities and features before looking at price.  So instead of deciding that you are looking for a TV in the $1,000 range, you should start out thinking, “I want a 42-inch TV” and study the prices from there.

Okay, this article taught me that coupons don't save money, that buying a home isn't necessarily better, and that running the air conditioner in the car doesn't necessarily waste gas.

The biggest insight for me is that money CAN buy happiness, especially for people like our dear hailbutboy.

Researchers from Princeton University have found that if you are a low- or middle-income earner, your life outlook tends to improve if you earn more income. Boosts in salary and happiness increased at the same rate regardless of economic class: a 20 percent increase in salary increased happiness at the same rate for both low-income and high-income people.

Jumps in income also enhanced peoples’ “emotional well-being" – the perception of the quality of their daily life. This effect held true until they reached the $75,000 mark. On the other hand, making over $75,000 did nothing to improve subjects' daily attitudes. As income fell below $75,000, people were more stressed and less happy.

Another interesting thing that researchers at San Francisco state have found is that the old saw that buying experiences rather than things with our money will make us happier may not be true. It really depends on the authenticity of the experience. If your income goes up and you decide that you should buy tickets to the opera, unless you really enjoy the music such spending will not make you any happier. In fact, you may feel worse. The trick is to spend money on things that really reflect who you are. If you’re a basketball fan, buy a ticket to a game. If you love the water, spend money on a sail. Doing what you think you should do with the money is just a buzzkill.

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