A silly comment that gives you the giggles or a risqué joke that gets you howling with laughter, whichever it is, humor feels good so you may have missed the fact that it can also save you money. We’re not talking about taking up a career in stand-up comedy or becoming a clown though. No, we mean ways throughout your daily life that humor can help you hold onto your money.
Here are five ways that humor can save you money:
Skip the Pills
“Laughter is the best medicine” is not just a catchy saying, it can actually be true. Studies have shown that a good laugh can lower blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, decrease stress, relax muscles, decreases pain, and even prevent heart disease. So skip a trip to the drug store or psychiatrist’s office and try a good belly laugh next time something is ailing you.
Beating a Traffic Ticket
You may have missed that stop sign you just cruised by, but rest assure the officer pulling up behind you with his lights flashing did not. As your stomach drops, you frantically think of how you can convince the officer not to write that ticket. Instead of an excuse he or she has no doubt heard hundreds of times, try humor. Research studies conducted in 1994 and 1997 showed that humor can build rapport and make the listener like the humorist more. In addition, humor has been shown to relax and induce a good mood in the listener. So instead of offering an excuse, try a funny joke.
Save Your Marriage
Aside from being emotionally devastating, divorce can also be expensive; between lawyers, dividing assets and setting up two households, the cost adds up. A 2002 study showed that the use of positive humor in marriages caused feelings of intimacy and marital satisfaction in wives. Humor has also been shown to increase feelings of trust and to help to reduce conflict, so before calling it quits, try laughing together.
Triumph in Negotiations
Buying a car is probably sandwiched between losing your dog and getting a colonoscopy on your list of things to avoid. You are trying to get the best deal while the salesperson is trying to get the biggest paycheck. You can try matching wits with the salesman or out-bluffing him, but he does this for a living so you will often be outmatched. Humor may be your best weapon here. Humor has been shown to increase a person’s willingness to listen and can distract the listener from forming counter-arguments, thus increasing your powers of persuasion.
Work It at Work
Do you find yourself dreading going to work each day? Find yourself constantly coming up with fake illnesses to call out sick? Has your performance been so poor you suspect you may be canned any day now? Of course you can look for a new job but in today’s market, your chances of success can be tricky. Instead, try interjecting humor into a toxic work environment and see various benefits. Humor has been shown to be associated with increased work performance, higher employee morale, and increased motivation and productivity. In addition, humor can stimulate creative and critical thinking skills, and increases focus and problem-solving skills.
So next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, break out your most charming, humorous self and give it a whirl, you never know what it can do for you.