Why You Should Prefer Experiences Over Possessions

A new study made at the university of San Francisco shows that people who tend to spend their money on buying experiences are happier and more fulfilled than those who buy possessions.

Money can buy happiness. If you know where and what to shop, that is. And this study proves just that.

prefer experiences over possessions

The study suggests that extroverts are the ones who tend to spend their money more on buying new experiences, but even the ones that are more introvert in nature can experience more happiness and fulfillment if they decide to shop for experiences.

Is the taboo question on whether or not money can buy happiness finally answered?

If you think about it, you can say yes, in a way.

Prior to this many people where convinced that having more and more possessions even though tightly connected with better standard of living, cannot make you happier on the long run.

Having more money equals having better life to some extent we thought, but not to being happier. This is proven to be an erroneous conclusion, one by which we were misguided for quite a long time.

Change of mindset can make us shop better, and be happier

So when you give this a second thought, you come to realize that having the money is not just enough – you need to know on what to spend them.

90% of people have ambitions that usually end up with some sum of money somewhere down the line. We dream of being good in this or that, mostly because of the money motive.

Quite frankly, I don’t judge this. This can be understood easily when we realize that society is the way it is, and nine out of ten this mindset becomes a habit of ours. If I have to put it in other words, I will even say that we don’t know otherwise.

But that’s really ok. You see, we constantly try to change. By giving a retrospective look you will notice that we tried embracing many beliefs, philosophies, different understandings, all of that just to change our nature when it comes to desiring more financial wealth.

And instead of beating our head over it, we are better off changing our perception and our mindset to a slight extent.

Instead of being so fond of money thinking they can bring us more and more possessions, we must try seeing them as a way of getting new experiences in our lives. Looking things from this perspective will indeed change our view of the world.

Instead of buying things that we were convinced by society we need, we should buy new experiences and enjoy the moment.

I’ve been talking with my wife about what she liked better – the trip to Paris, or the moissanite ring for the proposal? She went for the Paris trip right away, and she really, really likes the ring. When you think about it, both of them cost around the same.

We will buy moments that are there to provoke different feelings; moments that are there to teach us something new; moments that are there for us to remember.

And if we connect living in the moment with being happier, we can say with certainty that we will indeed be that way.

So why haven’t we bought happiness by now?

There is a reason as for why we overlooked this.

As new experiences are inherently more social and involve some risk, those of us who are not willing to leave our comfort zone, and make even a tiny step out of it, never considered shopping this way.

Being introvert is also another reason, but realizing that not all of the experiences need to be social in nature, this can be recognized as just an excuse.

We are creatures of comfort, and as such we tend to stick to the familiar.

Go along with society, shop whatever they shop for. That being said, you can add that we were given the wrong example on how to spend our money, how to shop.

Woman with Shopping Bags

Money can buy happiness, but what to shop for?

  • Certainly not the dress over the weekend away.
  • Not the plasma TV set over the Europe trip.
  • Not the laptop over the seasonal tickets to the games.

It’s up to us to decide how we spend our money. And that decision is tightly connected with our well-being, our happiness.

We can teach ourselves to change our perception, and by that our mindset when it comes to shopping, so instead of new things we would buy new moments to enjoy.

I cannot think of something that I bought that would match any of my vacations, my hiking trips, my mountain biking tours. I cannot think of something that I bought that would replace the feelings I had when listening to a concert, going to a recital. These moments simply stay embedded in one’s mind.

You should also consider redefining material purchases through the prism of experiences. What do I mean by that? Well, every time before you buy something, make sure to visualize the experience you’ll be getting – a bicycle, therefore, is a far better purchase than a new flashy phone that does the same tricks as the old one. A piece of workout equipment, can also create an opportunity for more experiences in your life. Shop, therefore, for the best pull up bar instead of the best wrist watch. The digital camera, instead of the fancy art on the wall.

You see, we can choose whether we will bury ourselves with possessions, or reduce them on the expense of having meaningful and lasting experiences and moments.

If would be very helpful if many of us realize that shopping for experiences instead of shopping for possessions will make us happier.

Even people who are more drawn towards material possessions can benefit this one by just making small changes to their habits when it comes to purchasing choices, and balance things in favor to buying more experiences.

This will lead to happier, more fulfilled, and meaningful life, as well as instant benefits towards well-being and lifestyle that is indeed changed.

What's your opinion?

  • (will not be published)

Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Certain content that appears on this site comes from AMAZON SERVICES LLC. This content is provided ‘AS IS’ and is subject to change or removal at any time.