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Money and Happiness


 

"Nobody lies on their deathbed wishing they spent more time with their money."


-Dan Ariely

 

Eating lunch at a restaurant in Denver's airport, we get an email telling us that after getting delayed three times, our flight to Las Vagas has been canceled. We're dinked. We have to get to Vegas tonight because we have a shuttle coming to pick us up tomorrow at 4 am. We consider renting a car and driving, but we have to drive through the mountains and even without any stops we wouldn't get there until 2:30 am.


Tomorrow we're supposed to be going on a rafting trip through Grand Canyon. We already paid for the trip, and we're unsure what their refund policy is. We're flexible, so we know enough to understand that rainstorms in Las Vegas that cause traffic delays are outside of our control and thus, not worthy of our worry. We've been thinking about this trip for months and don't want to miss out.


We get lucky. Just as we're about to call the company to tell them our situation, we get on a standby flight. We get to Las Vegas with plenty of time to sit in the pool, grab some dinner, and unwind before getting up tomorrow at 3 am.


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As we look back on this trip we can't believe how much fun we had. We met so many cool people. We had a lot of fun hiking to places we never thought we'd be able to see. As we look back, it's kind of cool thinking about sleeping outside in Grand Canyon while getting rained on. It's fun thinking about how hot it was at camp trying to keep cool by sitting in the river having a couple of drinks with our new friends.


We didn't know we were doing this at the time, but we did a lot of things that helped make this an amazing memory. First, we spend our money on an experience. Second, we paid for it ahead of time. Third, we researched it for months.


All of these seemingly random happenings helped make us happy about our trip. I'm not saying that you should spend your money on a rafting trip, but I am saying you can use some of these techniques to increase your happiness.


money doesn't buy happiness but how we use it can