Can money make you happy? 金錢能買來幸福嗎?

Buying happiness

105


你同意“金錢買不來幸福”這個觀點嗎?一項新的研究結果發現在特定的環境中,有時花費金錢確實可以買來開心。本期《隨身英語》討論如何聰明、合理地安排支出以換來幸福和享受生活的時間。

課文內容

Vocabulary: money 詞彙: 金錢

What would make you happy? Really happy? A nice holiday, lazing on a tropical beach? Maybe a blowout meal with friends at a swanky restaurant? Or possibly splashing out on a pair of the latest designer jeans? All these pleasures cost money so does that mean we need lots of cash to feel good or does the old saying ‘money can’t buy happiness‘ still ring true?

This well-worn adage has been put to the test by scientists in Canada. They found that when used in the right way, money can bring us happiness. They discovered that when you use money to free up time, by paying someone to do your chores for example, you are happier. In an experiment, individuals reported greater higher life satisfaction if they used $40 to save time rather than spend it on material goods such as a new pair of shoes. But surprisingly, the researchers found that fewer than a third of individuals spent money to buy themselves time each month.

In our hectic lives time is one thing we seem to be short of. People are reporting a ‘time famine‘, where they get stressed over the daily demands on their time. Psychologists say stress over lack of time causes lower well-being and contributes to anxiety and insomnia. But in many countries now, as incomes are rising, there is an option to buy more time.

This can be through hiring a cleaner to clean your house or outsourcing your ironing to someone else – giving us valuable extra hours to do the things we want to do. And in many forward-thinking companies, staff are given the opportunity to buy more time off or work flexibly.

Professor Dunn, who worked with colleagues at Harvard Business School, Maastricht University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, says that “money can in fact buy time. And it buys time pretty effectively… and so my take home message is, ‘think about it, is there something you hate doing that fills you with dread and could you pay somebody else to do that for you?’ If so, then science says that’s a pretty good use of money.”

I would agree that buying more time makes me feel happier and more relaxed. But making time a priority over making money does come at a price; you have less cash to spend on the things you now have time to do. However there’s another old saying that ‘life is short and time is swift‘ so there’s no time to waste and there’s more to life than doing tedious housework!

詞彙表

laze 享受,消磨(時光)
blowout 大餐
swanky 奢華時髦的
splash out 花大筆錢
money can’t buy happiness 金錢買不到幸福
adage 格言,諺語
chore 日常瑣碎的工作
material goods 物質商品
hectic 忙碌的
time famine “時間荒”
insomnia 失眠
income 收入
hire 雇用
outsource 將…交給他人處理
forward-thinking 前瞻性的
effectively 有效地
dread 憂慮
priority 優先考慮的事
come at a price 要付出很高的代價
life is short and time is swift 生命短暫,時光飛逝
tedious 單調乏味的

測驗與練習 

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Give an example of material goods mentioned in the article.

2. Why have many people now got the option to buy more time?

3. Which chores mentioned in the article could you pay someone to do?

4. In the article, Professor Dunn uses the phrase “a pretty good use of money”. What does ‘pretty good mean’?

5. True or false: If life is short and time is swift, we should earn as much money as we can.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. My husband took me to Paris for my birthday and we stayed in a ______ hotel.

hectic       splashing out       tedious       swanky

2. Police forces in England and Wales could save £1bn a year by ______ backroom services to private companies.

hiring       effectively       outsourcing       splashing out

3. Getting the leaking roof fixed is a ______ . If we don’t get it done, we won’t be able to live in the house.

priority       prioritise       priory       priorised

4. Our city council is very ______ as they’ve introduced electric cars on the streets.

outsourcing       swanky       forward-thinking       tedious

5. Being by the seaside does ______ – with the marked increase in house prices reflecting the demand for rooms with a sea view.

come on a price       come up with a price       come with a price       come at a  price

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Give an example of material goods, mentioned in the article.
Designer jeans, a pair of shoes.

2. Why have many people now got the option to buy more time?
In many countries now incomes are rising.

3. Which chores mentioned in the article, could you pay someone to do?
Ironing, cleaning the house.

4. In the article, Professor Dunn uses the phrase “a pretty good use of money”. What does ‘pretty good mean’?
‘Pretty good’ means ‘fairly’.

5. True or false: If life is short and time is swift, we should earn as much money as we can.
False. The phrase ‘if life is short and time is swift’ means we should make the most of our time not spend it earning money.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. My husband took me to Paris for my birthday and we stayed in a swanky hotel.

2. Police forces in England and Wales could save £1bn a year by outsourcing backroom services to private companies.

3. Getting the leaking roof fixed is a priority otherwise we won’t be able to live in the house.

4. Our city council is very forward-thinking as they’ve introduced electric cars on the streets.

5. Being by the seaside does come at a price – with the marked increase in house prices reflecting the demand for rooms with a sea view.

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