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Why Spending Money On Experiences, NOT Things Will Make You Happier

Spending money

Are you the type of person that saves for a big TV, or do save for a holiday instead? When you get a salary increase, do you think about spending that raise on a car upgrade or do you want to join a dance class?

At first, these new things are exciting, but then you adapt to having them in your life that they eventually aren’t so exciting. What once seemed novel and exciting quickly becomes the norm. A week’s holiday does seem like a short-term pleasure compared to a TV that usually lasts for years. However, research shows that the way you spend your money has a big impact on your happiness in the long run. Let’s dig deeper… 


You don’t compare experiences, you compare things

Most people want to keep up with the Joneses. It’s normal to see someone who has something better than you. However, according to research, those who choose to spend their money on experiences don’t compare themselves to others as much as those who spend their money on material goods. An example is you spending your money on a new iphone 6 and your friend buys an iphone 7 that launches the next week. You’ll obviously be envious of the better model. What about experiences? When you go on holiday, there’s always someone staying in a better hotel than you, but the fact is, you’re in Hawaii. You won’t compare yourself but just enjoy your holiday.

Experiences connect us to others

It’s very rare to see someone go on an adventure alone. You take someone else or you join other people on the same adventure. It’s this experience that allows us to connect with others and get closer to them. Giving someone a ride in your new car probably won’t.

Luxury Travel Bag

Things get broken and go out of style. Experiences get better every time you talk about them

When you look back on your life a few years from now, what will you remember? The out of fashion Gucci bag? Or helicopter ride you took over the beautiful landmarks of your city? As you can see, experiences are so much more memorable. They last a lifetime and allow you to thoroughly enjoy what the world has to offer.

In an experiment, participants were asked to spend their money on things and experiences. The researchers found that their happiness was equal at the beginning. But, after some time, those who bought material goods were excited about their purchases anymore. Those who undertook experiences continued to share their experiences. So, if you’re looking for short-term happiness, choose things. Otherwise, choose experiences and stay happy.

Experience is the best teacher

After talking so much about experiences, it feels like material goods are unnecessary. But, they aren’t! You can even really love things for a while…especially if that thing is a Ferrari. The only problem is that these things are completely separate from you. If you need it, it’s there. Experience on the other hand, has the ability to leave an impression on your mind. It helps you explore yourself as an individual. You can conquer your fear of heights by skydiving. In fact, even a bad experience can become a good story.


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Comments (4)

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    Lois Carol Wessels




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      They certainly don’t. As long as the thing does the same job and lasts just as long, it’s good enough


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    Great post, thanks for sharing. ! I prefer experiences. Buying and accumulating short-term things really just increases clutter. We should all de-clutter our lives and have less baggage literally and figuratively!


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      Thank you Shani. Less is certainly more.


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