Expert reveals why buying your happiness might not be the right idea

A financial expert has revealed why spending money to buy your happiness might not be the right idea.  

It comes after research conducted by Harvard University scholars in America found money could buy people happiness, but not in the ways they might expect.  

Despite travelling being something several people save up for and look forward to, BusinessDesk investments editor Frances Cook believes there are ways to replicate that expensive trip for the same form of happiness. 

"The number-one thing that they found would buy happiness, was travel, but the why is because it breaks your routine - it makes you appreciate what is around you more with fresh eyes," she told AM hosts on Tuesday. 

"Of course, if you can afford a lovely holiday, go do it, have a lovely time, you'll probably enjoy that happiness," she said.

"But you can also replicate that by breaking the routine somehow at home." 

She said this can look like "trying something new" such as going for a walk nearby in a place that's new and interesting. 

"That can have the same effect, so I think it's really interesting that you can duplicate it." 

Cook said most people will adjust to what they are used to and what they consider "their normal". 

"Lottery winners is a really classic one, within about a year they are back to the same baseline level of happiness that they were beforehand," she said. 

"It becomes normal, your baseline, that is just what you take for granted. 

"If you have more money, you can actually start comparing yourself to others, you end up on this cycle where there is always going to be someone richer than you."

She said there is a way to take yourself out of that mindset and live in the moment. 

"Even if you do the travel thing, and you break the routine - it's actually that you want little things often rather than one big blowout once in a while," she said.

"A bunch of three-day weekends throughout the year will do more for your happiness than one two-week holiday.

"You always want something to look forward to and the anticipation of the enjoyment." 

She believes always having a 'bright spot' in your calendar, such as an event coming up you are looking forward to, will bring a lot of joy. 

"We need something to look forward to now," she explained. "We are short-term creatures."