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5 reasons you should stop spending money only on yourself right now.

Breaking news: Money can buy happiness. Sometimes.

5 reasons you should stop spending money only on yourself right now.
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Michael Norton is a professor at Harvard Business School. Smart dude, right? Well, he's got some news for us: Money can buy happiness. But it has everything to do with how that money is spent.

Check out the video of Michael Norton's TED Talk to get the whole scoop, or scroll down to read more.


Here are five reasons to spend your money on other people.

1. Too much money makes us selfish and antisocial.

The perfect example of this is winning the lottery. We all know it would be a dream come true to win the lottery, right? Maybe not. People who win the lottery often go into debt and have some pretty strained social relationships (what with every single human they've ever met asking them for money all the time).

GIFs via TED/YouTube.

And what do people commonly say they would do if they won the lottery? Check out these antisocial ideas:

  • First idea: "When I win I am going to buy my own little mountain and have a little house on top."

  • Second idea, far more creative but just as creepily antisocial: "I would fill a big bathtub with money and get in the tub while smoking a big fat cigar and sipping a glass of champagne. Then I'd have a picture taken and dozens of glossies made. Anyone begging for money or trying to extort from me would receive a copy of the picture and nothing else." ... ummmm, okkaayyyyy?

Bottom line: Winning the lottery makes people's lives worse. Imagining winning the lottery makes people weird.

But...

2. Spending money on other people makes you happier.

Norton did an experiment in which people in one experimental group (let's say Group A) were given money to spend on themselves. People in another experimental group (Group B) were given money to spend on other people. At the end of the day, Group A's happiness had remained the same; Group B's happiness had increased.

That's right: The people who spent money on others actually got happier.

Treat yo self ---> happiness remains the same.

GIF via "Parks and Recreation."

Spend on someone else ---> get happier.

Bottom line: Spending money on other people increases your level of happiness.

3. Donating money to charity is positively related to happiness.

You might be thinking, "OK, in a few wealthy countries, spending money on others increases happiness. Big whoop." But listen up: This finding holds true in almost every single country in the world.

Check out this map. Green countries are places where donating money to charity and general happiness in life are positively correlated — where money to charity and happiness go hand in hand.

Image via TED/YouTube.

See that sea of green? It shows that in 136 countries, people who give money to charity are happier than people who don't give money to charity. We can't say for sure why or which factor causes which result, but we know they're positively related.

Bottom line: Spending money on others is positively related to happiness all over the world.

4. Business teams that spend money on each other do better.

Here's another experiment that proves you should spend money on other people. This one focuses on sales teams in Belgium. In one group, individuals on the sales team were given money to spend on themselves. In the other group, they were given money to spend on someone else on the team. If you've been following up till now, I'm doubting their findings will shock you.

The result? Sales teams that spent money on each other performed better. They sold more stuff. They were more productive workers. Cash money increased.

GIF via TED/YouTube.

Pretty cool, right!? And the best example of what a prosocial team did with the money? They bought a piñata and smashed it together. How's that for team bonding? (Just don't hit your teammates.)

Bottom line: Spending money on other people even increases performance in a business setting.

5. Dodgeball teams that spend money on each other WIN ALL THE THINGS.

Yep, this concept also applies to dodgeball. The final experiment shows that dodgeball teams that got money to spend on each other were totally transformed and began to dominate the league. Like this:

GIF via "Glee."

Bottom line: Spend money on your teammates, WIN DODGEBALL. Also known as this spending-on-other-people thing has a ridiculously wide array of applications.

Did all that kind of blow your mind like it totally blew mine?

I don't know about you ... but I'm off to go buy someone a coffee.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 10.23.15


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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

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Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."