If you want to improve members' lives, help them spend money in ways that improve happiness, says Dr. Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia.
During her opening address at the How To Conference by CU Water Cooler in Madison, Wis., Dunn explained four research-based ways people turn money into greater happiness:
1. Buy experiences. A once-in-a-lifetime trip may be a better investment in long-term happiness than a new bigger, better home, says Dunn. “Experiences make better stories.”
2. Buy time. Consider whether having more time is important when considering the trade-offs of financial decisions.
3. Pay now, consume later. Debt has an emotional and physical toll. Don't overdo it.
4. Invest in others. Spending money on others rather than ourselves often leads to a greater sense of happiness, she says.
What does that mean for credit unions? Dunn encourages credit unions to:
Dunn is the author of “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending.”