How to Choose Between Experiential and Material Purchases

Posted on March 18, 2017

If you have a hundred dollar note, what would you choose to spend on? Some may choose to catch the latest movie in town while others may choose to spend it on a shirt that they have been eyeing on for quite some time. Research has shown that spending money on experiences such as a meal out, or a movie tend to create long-term happiness instead of material goods and possessions. What is interesting and new to note is that even when our experimental purchases go wrong, we are most likely to end up slightly less happy than if we had chosen a material purchase!

Here are some reasons to why experiences may triumph over possessions:
- The good memories seem to improve with time as we forgot about all the dull moments.
- These memories may be significant as they are symbolic, whereas there is not much meaning one can attach to a pair of shoes.
- The memories are resistant to unfavourable comparisons as they are wholly yours. Clothing falls out of fashion fast!

However, the study does suggest that there is not much difference when both types of purchases go badly. This is because unhappy experiences tend to be remember for a longer time than purchases than turn out badly.
Furthermore, when we are cash-strapped, it is worthy to note that the free experiences such as taking a walk in the park may make us happier than possessions as well! Thus, why not spend more money on building meaningful experiences that can keep you happy for a lifetime now!

Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Psyblog

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