Why People Who Spend Money On Experiences Instead Of Things Are Much Happier

Avatar Baraka Mistretta | August 1, 2017

When payday comes and that direct deposit hits your account, you tend to swipe your card more in a day than your thumb swipes through Facebook, Instagram and Tinder combined.

The instant gratification that comes along with the pleasure of buying new clothes, trendy sneakers and expensive tech is satisfying enough to be classified as an actual addiction.

It’s crucial for us to remember the importance of investing in life experiences rather than constantly splurging on the next big thing from our favorite stores. It is absolutely true that money can’t buy you happiness.

In fact, it seems the happiest people in the world have found a way to distance themselves from shopping addictions and unnecessary spending.

Instead, those people put their money towards travel, experience and memories, and it certainly pays off.

If we all invest in our futures more than our sneakers, our lives will be more beautiful than anything money can buy.

Life is about memories, not diamonds.

Take a moment to think about this: When you are on your deathbed, are you going to be reminiscing about the fact that you had an iPhone 7 Plus while everyone else was still using the 6, or are you going to recall the beautiful memories you shared with those closest to you?

A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology shows that people who made expensive purchases on products rather than experiential investments often found little value in the new item’s worth directly after buying it.

Researchers from San Francisco State University found that people do, in fact understand that life is all about the memories we create, but we get so caught up in the trends of society that we crave to make purchases that we’ll inevitably end up regretting.

Before they even made the purchase, study participants said life experiences would be more beneficial than buying the latest items on their Wishlist.

After buying what they temporarily desired, participants soon realized they would much rather have spent that money on an experience, which would have increased their happiness for a more sustainable period of time.

Focus on what makes you happy, not what makes you popular.

Research from Cornell University shows Millennials are tempted to make many of their purchases from society’s influence, which makes things like diamond watches and gold chains not only super expensive, but appealing and trendy as well.

We are as much of a product of our society as the shiny toys we buy on a daily basis, if not more.

What sets us apart from our ancestors is the fact that we are enveloped in this modern world of social media, and just about everything we purchase is photographed for shameless self-promotion.

Dr. Thomas Gilovich is a prominent psychology professor at Cornell University who has been looking for a link between money and happiness for some time.

He says,

“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”

Gilovich continues,

“I’m not saying you should never reward a couple of hard weeks at work with a new outfit and a night out, but our larger investments should go toward experiences that create lifelong memories rather than an item that will lose its “cool” factor within a few days, months or years.” (If you’re lucky)

Gilovich told the Huffington Post

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”

Lose the price tag and start exploring the REAL world, the one that is all around you.

The Next Web reports there are 79 million Millennials in the United States, three million more than the notorious Baby Boomer generation that is responsible for many of the jobs, industries and government programs at our disposal.

Many of us are starting to understand the priceless advantages of spending our hard-earned money on things other than possessions, such as travel, education and creative activities.

Researchers say that companies need to start adapting to this shift in mentality in order to compete and survive with this generation’s new perspective on spending.

Ultimately, these are longer-term investments in our own individual happiness.

By spending more of our money on things that actually enhance our lives — filling our brains with golden memories and incredible adventures — we aren’t just changing society around us, we’re shedding some much-needed love, positivity, and light on this sometimes dark world.

Each day we’re convinced by corporations to buy things we don’t really need, spend money we don’t have and purchase worthless items that lose their value in a matter of days.

Generation-Y is currently the largest, most influential group in society, and we have the ability to control the fate of our wallets and investments. By doing so we are in turn controlling the way the society we live in develops. Why buy the latest phone when you can put that $400 toward a plane ticket to a country you’ve never been before?

People who are constantly living with their future goals, investments and happiness at the forefront of their minds tend to live much happier lives than the rest of consumers who are swamped in products and bullshit.

It’s time for us all to stop swiping our cards every time we get paid and start thinking about the memories we could be creating with just a bit of extra savings and a road map.

Written by Baraka Mistretta


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Why People Who Spend Money On Experiences Instead Of Things Are Much Happier