Happy People Tend To Value Time Over Money

Meet Maggie and Tina.

Maggie is willing to work longer hours in exchange for a fatter paycheck. Tina is willing to take a smaller paycheck so she can work less and have more free time.

Now that we’re all acquainted, who do you think you are more like: Maggie or Tina?

Researchers used questions like this to figure out what people valued more — time or money — and whether that preference affected an individual’s overall well-being.

Turns out, it does.

According to a study involving more than 4,600 participants recently published by the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, people who value their time more than their money tend to be happier than those who value their money more than their time.

To figure this out, researchers from the University of British Columbia surveyed working American adults, students at the University of British Columbia, and adults visiting a Vancouver science museum who volunteered to participate in the questioning.

Slightly more than half of respondents valued their time over money, and, on average, those individuals were also more likely to report higher levels of happiness than those who valued money over time.

“Imagine that the world is made up of Tinas and Maggies,” Ashley Whillans, the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post.

“We’re seeing that the Tinas of the world are walking around a little happier than the Maggies of the world because they are making everyday decisions that lead them to prioritize time over money.”

The participants’ income and gender did not affect their answers, although the researchers note that the study did not include participants living at the poverty level, who may need to prioritize money in order to survive.

Setting Up The Surveys

Each survey included at least one trade-off question that involved a major life decision (like the one at —> Read More