Giving is a process.
According to Patrick Svedin, College of Science Development Director there is one important question to focus on.
Does giving make you happier or do happier people give to charities?
This could be answered by focusing on a certain study. In 2008, subjects had to rate their happiness and were given an envelope containing a range from $5-$20. Randomly, the participants were asked to either spend the money on themselves or on somebody else and then discuss their mood at the end of the day.
The people who had spent the money on somebody else re[prted to be in a happier mood than those who spent the money on themselves. A third group was asked to predict the outcomes of the experiment and surprisingly they expected those who spent the money on themselves to be happier. Of course, they were wrong since according to the research “thinking about money may propel individuals toward using their financial resources to benefit themselves, but spending money on others can provide a more effective route in increasing one’s own happiness.” 1
Having extra money to buy for example something you really wanted is indeed satisfying but that momentary rush will not have a lasting impact on your happiness.
Director of Development, USU College of Science
1 Elizabeth W. Dunn, Lara B. Akin, Michael I. Norton (2014). Prosocial Spending and Happiness: Using Money to Benefit Others Pays Off. Current Directions in Psychological Science 2014 23:41.