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Would You Rather Buy an Item or an Experience?

I've never seriously mulled over the pros and cons of spending my paycheck on a pair of great pumps or a handbag, but the idea of splurging on a vacation usually requires some deliberation. However, a recent study revealing the monetary worth of happiness may have me reevaluating my long-practiced spending habits.

The study suggests that, assuming all basic needs are met, we're better off spending our extra cash on a meaningful experience — a romantic getaway or well-deserved stay at the spa — versus the latest version of the iPod. Over time, the material possession will likely lose its value, but our fondness for the memories of a great trip will actually improve over time — and they don't require maintenance or costly updates.

While this newfound insight has me thinking a little differently about my reluctance to treat myself to an out-of-the-box excursion, I'll admit, it's never easy to resist the immediate gratification of purchasing the must-have-boots of the season. So tell me, what's your spending style — would you rather purchase something to do or something to have?

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