Science Explains Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences Instead of Things

Money can buy happiness, but you should be mindful of what you buy.

If you think buying the latest iPhone model will make you happier, think again. Studies show that spending money on experiences rather than things, can actually give us more lasting happiness. Deep inside, you know it is true.

According to the results of the research conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, material things can only make us happy up to a certain point. Notice that when you buy a new gadget, you feel thrilled during the first few days of playing with it. However, after a week, your level of excitement drops and the new toy doesn’t appeal as much. If you, however, chose to spend your money on travelling and other fun activities, the memories will stay with you for a lifetime. Every time you think about your adventures; they will put a smile on your lips. In addition, not only you get to see the world, you expand your horizon, too!

To find out more about the research, read on below. Tell us, would you rather travel and enrich life through experience or buy materials things?

The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things

“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. “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.”

“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,” says Gilovich.

“By shifting the investments that societies make and the policies they pursue, they can steer large populations to the kinds of experiential pursuits that promote greater happiness,” write Gilovich and his coauthor, Amit Kumar, in their recent article in the academic journal Experimental Social Psychology.

–by Jay Cassano

To read the full text, please go to Fast Co.Exist.