This question has perplexed many of us quite some time now. For myself, I have pondered it numerous times and probably you have as well. For sheer fun, I have thought “If I won the lottery, I’d do XYZ!” Take notice of the verb “do” and what that may mean. What would you do?
I recently came across an article in a magazine that focused on this topic. It firmly reinforced to me a long held belief and a core value of desiring to choose a meaningful, joyful experience over accumulating an acquisition of some material goods. Ask yourself if you want to indulge yourself in a way that brings you long term emotional satisfaction? By investing in experiences that give you pleasure and lasting emotional benefits, they will leave you with a fond memory to revisit in the future. For example, think about a past vacation that you fully enjoyed and why you did. What was it about that trip that made you feel so good and happy to be alive?
According to the study at San Francisco State University by the study author Ryan Howell, Ph.D. he discovered that “Buying a new shirt, pair of shoes, or electronic device may give you a temporary lift, but you’ll adapt to it pretty quickly.” And he further states “Once you do, it won’t be as uplifting anymore.” Therefore, from his study results, he affirms that spending money on experiences creates a kind of “memory capital” – an emotional reserve of happy memories that one can recall many times. What is the take away here? Be mindful that those material goods will tend to depreciate and diminish in personal worth and that your rich “bank” of personal memories will become more valued and treasured throughout your life. Furthermore, per his study, he found that there was no correlation between the costs of the purchases – whether they were material or experiential and the happiness derived from them. In conclusion, you don’t need to spend big to give yourself a huge payback! I challenge you to look back and recall what experiences you most enjoyed and perhaps repeat them or even try new ones.
I invite your comments.