Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things
After spending three years living abroad, my husband and I have come to the conclusion that we are firm believers in spending our money on experiences rather than things. We’ve had the opportunity to travel to many countries and European cities right at our fingertips, so it was easy to choose to save the money we had left after paying our bills to experience the world rather than buy things that we think we want.
The problem with spending your money on ‘things’ is that your happiness is only temporary. Trends and styles fade, and what is popular to have right now may not be in six months. You’ll always want to spend your money on the next best ‘thing’.
Some may argue that the happiness received from an experience is also only temporary, but the memories and life lessons will stay with you forever. Remember that time we drove on the wrong side of the road in Ireland? Remember when we set sail to the Blue Lagoon in Malta, or when we stood in front of the Eiffel Tower? Yes, these opportunities were only a moment in time, but we’ll be able to recall them for the rest of our lives.
A 2016 Forbes article refers to a study conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, which reached this same powerful conclusion: “The trouble with things is that the happiness they provide fades quickly.” The study gave three reasons for this:
1. We get used to new possessions so they quickly become less exciting to us.
2. We will always raise the bar as new purchases lead to new expectations.
3. We’ll always try to ‘keep up with the Jonses’ and compare our possessions with others.
While it may sound nice to always have the newest item or trendiest articles of clothing, I think we can all agree – even the littlest bit – with these reasonings.
On the other hand, experiences cannot be quantified. You simply can’t put a price tag on a worthwhile opportunity. Whether it be a night out with your friends, a concert showing of your favorite band, or a grandiose trip to Europe, it is likely you won’t regret making the decision to spend your dollars here. After all, the experience must have been meaningful to you, otherwise you probably wouldn’t have spent your money on it in the first place!
So, next time you’re stuck between deciding if you should buy the newest version of the iPhone or save for that big trip you and your friends wanted to take, choose the trip. (I promise you won’t regret it!)
About the Author
Native to New York, Jackie grew up in a small town outside of a military base, allowing her to meet and fall in love with her husband at a young age. She attended a private catholic college where she received a B.A. degree in Communications and Journalism. Currently living in Italy, her and her husband travel often. In her free time, Jackie enjoys a nice run, a good book, or a lengthy Netflix binge.