Cambridge study confirms that money can buy happiness

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Cambridge Study Confirms Money Can Buy Happiness

A new Cambridge University study confirms that there does seem to be a link between money and happiness.

However, a press release about the research clarifies that "matching spending with personality was more important for individuals' happiness than the effect of individuals' total income or their total spending."

The team reviewed nearly 77,000 financial transactions made during a 6-month period by 625 people in the U.K.

They grouped these purchases into 59 broad categories then compared them to the participants' personalities which were assessed according to five traits—openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

The researchers found that happier people tended to spend more on activities that lined up with their personalities; for example, extroverts had more expenses related to eating out.

As such, one of the paper's authors Joe Gladstone has said the study shows that "spending can increase our happiness when it is spent on goods and services that fit our personalities and so meet our psychological needs."

RELATED: Here are Forbes' top ten happiest richest people in America:

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Forbes' top 10 richest people in America
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Cambridge study confirms that money can buy happiness

10. Larry Page

Net worth: $33.3 billion, up $1.8 billion
Source: Google
Age: 42

  • With Google cofounder Sergey Brin, announced in August that Google will create Alphabet as a  parent company in the fourth quarter. Their aim: to “get more ambitious things done”
  • Page will shift from CEO of Google to CEO of Alphabet
  • Google - including YouTube - is one of the multiple companies that will be under the Alphabet umbrella
  • Google stock hit an all-time high in July

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

9. Jim Walton

Net worth: $33.7 billion, down $2.3 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Age: 67

  • Sits on the board of Wal-Mart.
  • Youngest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
  • FORBES estimates that he owns nearly 13% of Wal-Mart
  • Jim is chairman and CEO of family-owned Arvest Bank, which has $16 billion in assets

Wal-Mart stock is down 15%

(AP Photo/April L. Brown)

8.  Michael Bloomberg  

Net worth: $38.6 billion, up $3.6 billion
Source: Bloomberg LP
Age: 73

  • Fortune up $3.6 billion since the 2014 Forbes 400
  • He returned to the CEO role at Bloomberg LP in late 2014
  • Bloomberg LP revenues are now estimated at more than $9 billion
  • In June Mike Bloomberg announced a $100 million donation to Cornell University's technology campus in New York
  • Lifetime philanthropic giving is $3.9 billion

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

7.  Mark Zuckerberg  

Net worth: $40.3 billion, up $6.3 billion
Source: Facebook
Age: 31

  • In August Facebook had 1 billion users in a single day for the first time ever
  • A year after buying virtual reality startup Oculus, Facebook says the Rift VR headset will start shipping to customers in early 2016.
  • Net worth up 18.5% since 2014 Forbes 400, as Facebook stock rises by more than 25%.
  • Zuckerberg cracks top 10 on Forbes 400 for first time

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

T-5. David Koch

Net worth: $41 billion, down $1 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 75

  • Net worth down 2% since 2014 Forbes 400
  • New York City’s richest resident
  • Shares control of conglomerate Koch Industries with brother Charles.  David runs the company’s chemical-trading business
  • The brothers’ fortunes fell slightly in the past year owing to weakness in the manufacturing and pipeline sectors

(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

5.  Charles Koch

Net worth: $41 billion, down $1 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 79    

  • Net worth down 2% since 2014 Forbes 400 due to market pressure on commodities and industrial companies
  • Charles runs $15 billion (revenues) Koch Industries, the country’s second-largest private company with $115 billion in sales.
  • He’s been chairman since 1967, when the company was valued at $50 million; it is now worth an estimated $100 billion
  • Political heavyweight compares his crusade for smaller government and economic liberty to the campaign for civil rights, and hopes his network of several hundred wealthy conservatives will spend up to $300 million on candidates and another $600 million on efforts to reduce regulation and reform the criminal justice system

(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

4. Jeff Bezos

Net worth: $47 billion, up $16.5 billion
Source: Amazon.com
Age: 51

  • Bezos is the biggest dollar-gainer on the list
  • Climbs into the top 10 richest on The Forbes 400 for the first time thanks to surge in Amazon.com shares
  • In September he announced that his aerospace company, Blue Origin, would spend over $200 million to build reusable rockets and launch them into orbit from a site at Cape Canaveral by the end of the decade.  

(Photo by Nicole Craine/WireImage)

3.  Larry Ellison   

Net worth: $47.5 billion, down $2.5 billion
Source: Oracle
Age: 71

  • Fortune down $2.5 billion in the past year as Oracle’s share price fell
  • His net worth is down 5% since 2014 Forbes 400        
  • Stepped down as CEO of Oracle in September 2014, stayed on as chairman.  
  •  In June he announced that Oracle would expand its cloud-computing business, putting it in direct competition with Amazon.com’s Web Services business.
  • Both of his children are Hollywood moguls. Daughter Megan has financed films like Zero Dark Thirty and American Hustle. Son David has produced franchises like The Terminator and Mission: Impossible.

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

2.  Warren Buffett  

Net worth: $62 billion, down $5 billion
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
Age: 85 

  • Fortune down $5 billion in the past year because share price of Berkshire Hathaway fell
  • His net worth is down 7.5% since 2014 Forbes 400
  • Berkshire Hathaway in August announced its biggest acquisition ever, agreeing to pay $37 billion for Precision Castparts, a maker of aerospace, power and industrial parts
  • In addition to Precision, Berkshire owns companies including Geico, Dairy Queen and Fruit of the  Loom
  • This year teamed up again with 3G Capital, a firm run by a trio of Brazilian billionaires, to merge Kraft Foods with Heinz. Buffett has joined forces last year to help finance 3G’s merger of Burger King and coffeehouse chain Tim Hortons
  • Lifetime philanthropic giving: $25.6 billion

(Photo by Eric Frances/Getty Images)

1.  Bill Gates

Net worth: $76 billion, down $5 billion
Source: Microsoft
Age: 59

  • World’s richest man for 22nd year in a row
  • Fortune down 6%
  • Gates own just under 3% of Microsoft, which accounts for 13% of his total fortune. His private investment firm, Cascade, makes up the rest, investing in stocks, bonds, private equity and real estate
  • Lifetime philanthropic giving: $31.5 billion

(Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)

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