According to a recent article in the New York Times, more money does not equate to greater happiness if that money is then spent on acquiring more things…but it DOES make people measurably happier if spent on experiences. Like, for example, a vacation! Of course, I’ve known this all along, but it’s nice to see that experts now agree:
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. ” ‘It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn…
According to the study, when we spend money on material things like cars, electronics and clothes, the pleasure is very short-lived; we soon move on to “needing” more and more things to keep the excitement going. When we invest in experiences, however, the happiness is long-lasting. We anticipate the experience, we live the experience, and then we get to reminisce and re-live it over and over again.
The other very exciting finding in the study was that you don’t need to blow it all on one big vacation in order to find peak happiness. A bunch of three-day weekends spread across the year might be even better for you than one two-week summer vacation. So, if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, give me a call — we’ll get you started on a “vacation maintenance plan” 🙂