Skip Nav
Gadgets
Your Phone Is 18x Dirtier Than a Toilet — This Device From Amazon Will Clean It in 10 Minutes
Disney
FYI, Amazon Has a Section Filled With Disney Halloween Goodies!
Family Travel
Everything You Can Eat, Do, and See at Disney World For Halloween!
Amazon
Shopping For a Suitcase? These Are the 7 Best Choices on Amazon
Tattoos
These 35 Small Quote Tattoos Will Help You Follow BIG Dreams

Why You Should Spend Money on Experiences

The 1 Thing You Should Be Spending Money on to Be Happy

The next time you're considering splurging on an expensive new leather jacket or big-screen TV you don't necessarily need instead of saving the cash to put toward a trip to Europe, think twice. Memories last A LOT longer than material things — and science proves it.

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, wrote a study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology called "A Wonderful Life: Experiential Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness." In it, he concludes that "as important as possessions might be to a person's identity and sense of self," they are not as important as a person's experiences. "We are the sum total of our experiences. We are not the sum total of our possessions, however important they might be to us. If called upon to write our memoirs, it is our experiences we would write about, not our possessions."

As someone with endless wanderlust, this comes as great news. Dr. Gilovich makes the point that "sharing something more central to the self [like experiences] is certain to produce a greater feeling of kinship and connection than sharing something more peripheral." This means that making memories with people — especially through once-in-a-lifetime experiences like those we encounter when we travel — results in a greater bond than if just material items, like physical gifts, are shared.

I'm a minimalist in some ways, but like everyone, I do really enjoy my "things." The study by no means is saying that some material possessions aren't important (and of course in some cases, essential), but it does justify putting aside your hard-earned money for something a little less fleeting than a physical thing. Instead, spend it on an experience. Make a memory with someone (or with yourself!) that will last forever. Gilovich hopes this research will "serve as a useful guide to consumers as they decide how to spend their limited disposable income . . . and to all of us as we try to figure out how to live a wonderful life."

From Our Partners
Best Places to Celebrate Halloween
How to Feel More Comfortable in Your Own Skin
Best Luggage on Amazon
Best Houseplants For Air Quality
Trailer Renovation Before and After
Barns You Can Stay In
Natural Solutions For Common Ailments
Best Wellness Podcasts
Kourtney Kardashian Wearing Plaid Burberry Bikini
How to Quit Watching So Much TV
How to Get Your Self-Esteem Back
Most Flattering Dresses 2018
From Our Partners
Latest Affordable DIY & Organization
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds