Buying Time-Saving Services Makes People Happier: Study

Spending money on time-saving services can help reduce what researcher call "time famine" and boost your happiness, according to a new study.

It included nearly 6,300 adults in the United States, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands who were asked whether, and how much, they spend on time-saving services such as paying others to clean their homes or run errands, and how satisfied they are with their lives, CNN reported.

No matter the income level, purchasing time-saving services was associated with greater life satisfaction. The study also found that people who bought such services had fewer negative effects from feeling stressed for time.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"I think our research actually flies in the face of the preconception that time-saving services are just for rich people," co-author Elizabeth Dunn, professor of psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada, told CNN.

"Sometimes when people imagine time-saving services maybe what they're picturing is a house keeper, butler, and a gardener, but what we're talking about is just spending $40 makes a difference," she explained.

The results show that "the role of time-saving purchases is independent from the role of income in predicting happiness," study lead author Ashley Whillans, professor, Harvard Business School, told CNN.

"Across studies we find that people who spend money in ways that allow them to have more free time report greater life satisfaction," she said. "The way that people are spending money, and in this case, spending money to buy themselves free time, has a similar positive association with happiness as how much money people make."

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