Doing up Christmas

Shopping for Christmas presents raises a host of issues at the intersection of money and happiness. Here are two things that are simultaneously true: 1. I love to give people presents that delight them. 2. I hate wasting money. This often produces mental turmoil, as a large chunk of money spent on gifts is inevitably wasted, meaning the person would have rath… read more »

Giving vs. investing — and the gray area between

I was on Talk of the Nation yesterday, speaking with Neal Conan about microphilanthropy. NPR’s producers found a USA Today column I wrote about the topic last year. If philanthropy is the voluntary promotion of human welfare, microphilanthropy is doing the same thing on a much smaller scale. It’s about establishing a direct connection betwe… read more »

Why energy is more important than time — and how to boost yours

(Laura’s note: Even though I’m no longer really on maternity leave, I’m still running a few guest posts from my favorite bloggers — enjoy!) By Linda Formichelli Time management is a huge industry: e-books, print books, iPhone apps, and software programs all help people cram their too-many to-dos into the time they have. Article… read more »

Does tithing buy happiness?

(Laura’s note: This column ran in USA Today yesterday. Thanks to everyone who sent me their thoughts on the topic!) Come December, many Americans add this tradition to the obvious trees and carols: the annual digging out of the checkbook, as we respond to charity solicitations. The average family will give roughly 3% of household income away by the en… read more »

Sneak peek at All The Money In The World

Those of you who subscribe to my Just a Minute newsletter (sign-up to the right) got a link in your inboxes this week to download the introduction to All The Money In The World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending. The book itself will be out March 1, but this will give a taste of it. I explore the concept that if money isn’t buying us happ… read more »