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You can’t go out to the store and buy happiness . . . or can you?

In her book “Money can buy happiness,” DailyWorth editor-in-chief and former New York Times columnist MP Dunleavey explains that happiness may indeed be something you can buy. Dunleavey, who recently spoke at Vanguard about women and finances, helps readers evaluate their spending habits and how their use of money can lead to a to a better life on*, a site that takes a fresh look on women’s relationship with money.

In this interview, Dunleavey gives readers some suggestions on using money wisely.

Question: You tell your readers to take inventory of the activities that make them the happiest. Why do you think people don’t spend time on these activities?

Ms. Dunleavey: That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Why don’t we gravitate toward the choices that would make us happier, healthier, wealthier? In almost every case, the biggest hurdle people face is their desire for instant gratification. Shopping is a lot more fun than saving (for many people). Eating is more pleasurable than working out (again, not for everyone, but for an awful lot of us). But those instant pleasures die fast. You buy that sweater or eat that fried rice . . . and you’re still craving something more, something else, something . . .

But if you shift your focus toward more substantive sources of satisfaction—which almost always involve people and experiences, not stuff—you might be willing to make happier choices. If you REALLY want to travel to Shanghai or buy a new mountain bike, because that would enrich your whole quality of life—not just the current 10 minutes—you might forsake the dumb sweater to put money toward your own greater happiness. It takes a while to retrain your impulses, but you can do it. Read the complete article here:

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