Are you spending your money the right way? Have you been wasting all your money on materialistic things? Well, maybe, it’s time for a change. Read on to know more.
You work hard day after day to make money. Yet, after covering all your expenses, you find yourself left with just a few bucks. Now, it’s important that you spend this spare change on something that adds value to your life, something that makes you happy. And quite a few studies have revealed that experiences provide more lasting happiness than material stuff.
In this article, we’ll discuss two studies that concluded that you must spend more of your savings on experiences than getting yourself fancy things. We’ll tell you why the joy linked to getting yourself the latest smartphone fades in no time. And why, in contrast, that hike through the Amazon rainforest with your friends was totally worth it then, and still is even today. Interested? Let’s get started then.
What Research Says
A great many researchers have devoted much of their time figuring out how and where people should spend their money to make themselves happy. Although the commonly-held perception was that spending on material goods increased the happiness level in people than experiences, a 20-year study conducted by a psychology professor at Cornell University, Dr Thomas Gilovich, revealed that this wasn’t the case.
Another study by the Harris Group on millennials and how they spend money also revealed that a majority (about 72%) of millennials opted to spend more of their savings on experiences than buying fancy cars or gadgets.
Additional Reading: If We Gave You Rs. 1 Lakh, Would You Buy The iPhone X?
Now let’s discuss why experiences are better than material stuff.
The Paradox Of Possessions
Let’s start with the paradox of possessions. Confused? Don’t be. The paradox of possessions relates to the fact that happiness associated with materialistic things is often short-lived. We often believe that our happiness will last as long as these things last, but that’s not the case. Three major reasons can be linked to this:
- Once you buy something, you slowly adapt to it, making it something that’s a part of your life just like all the other things you own. Psychologists refer to this as ‘hedonic adaptation’. Experiences, on the other hand, become a part of you – your identity.
- Once you’ve made a purchase and used the ‘thing’ you purchased for a few days or weeks, you tend to want something better than it. For instance, you buy a new phone with the best of features. A week later, another phone with even better features hits the market. This will lead to less satisfaction with what you own because you’ll want the better one.
- Materialistic possessions promote comparisons. You may be thrilled that you got yourself a fancy car until you see a friend/colleague with a better one. And this cycle goes on because someone or the other will always have a better one.
Additional Reading: The iPhone XR: Just A Cheap Affair Or Something More?
Experiences Are All About Memories
Experience is usually enjoyed with family or friends. Even if you’re the solo type, you still share an experience with the people around. And, even if such an experience happened years back, you’ll still remember the entire experience and the people involved as it’s a part of you.
On that note, how many of you remember the day you got your second iPhone delivered? You get the point here, don’t you?
Experiences Teach You A Lot
Experiential purchases, even if they are a slightly expensive affair, are money well spent. With every experience, you get to learn something – maybe a new perspective, a valuable life lesson or skill, or just how to be thankful for your life. Materialistic possessions don’t teach you anything valuable; they are just for show/showing off!
Experiences, though fleeting in nature, are valuable and give you more lasting happiness as compared to buying fancy goods. So, forget those ‘puddles of pleasure’ (as Dr Elizabeth Dunn from the University of British Columbia calls the temporary happiness brought about by material goods) and spend your money on things that matter, on experiences.
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