Spending your money on experiences instead of possessions results in more satisfaction. Thinking of taking that vacation but opt instead to buy a new bedroom set, maybe not the best choice according to this NYT piece. I need to heed this advice on my next trip to the Apple Store–I’m seriously excited about owning an I-Pad, which is weird because I’m not into technology AT. ALL. But there is something about that Apple Store that just seems to make people happy. It’s all so futuristic and cool. They e-mailed me my receipt from the middle of the room! I wonder if they even take cash? I know, I know, it’s all a facade.
But I digress…the NYT piece is all about spending our money on things that will make us happy, and how experiences make us happier than stuff.
One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff… (T)he only (consumption) category to be positively related to happiness was leisure: vacations, entertainment, sports and equipment like golf clubs and fishing poles.
According to retailers and analysts, consumers have gravitated more toward experiences than possessions over the last couple of years, opting to use their extra cash for nights at home with family, watching movies and playing games — or for “staycations” in the backyard. Many retailing professionals think this is not a fad, but rather “the new normal.”
“I think many of these changes are permanent changes,” says Jennifer Black, president of the retailing research company Jennifer Black & Associates and a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors in Oregon. “I think people are realizing they don’t need what they had. They’re more interested in creating memories.”
Seems pretty obvious to me, And hey, for all us Catholic moms, adding another child to your family certainly creates memories and qualifies as an experience, right?