Spend on a Vacation, Not a Flat-Screen

Money is tighter for a lot of people these days, and we’re having to make tough choices about where to spend discretionary income. Once all the
necessities are paid for, where are you putting the rest of your hard-earned
cash? Toward a weekend getaway, or that new outfit you’ve been eyeing? If you
picked the getaway, you’re probably going to be happier.

A recent study from San Francisco State University found that shelling out
for experiences—such as a nice dinner out or that ski vacation in Utah—made
subjects happier than purchasing material goods. And it doesn’t matter how
much you spend on the experience, either. Life experiences at all price
points bring happiness.

This makes a lot of sense to me. When I think about all the things that I’m
happy I’ve spent money on, I’m definitely not listing all the pairs of shoes in
my closet. I’m thinking of the trip to London I took after college graduation
with my grandparents.

That’s not to say that material goods don’t make people happy at all—just not
as happy as experiences do. The takeaway: Skip the purse and go grab lunch with
your best friend instead.

What’s been your best experiential purchase over the years?