Surely you have heard hundreds of times that money and buying things does not give happiness.
But that is a half-truth.
Things To Be Happy
According to science, money can give happiness to:
- Spend on others: for example donating or giving something to someone in need.
- Buy experiences.
Psychologists Leaf Van Bowen and Thomas Gilovich investigated whether it is better to buy products or experiences.
In one experiment they used two groups: one that was asked to think about recently purchased items and one that was asked to tell a recently purchased experience.
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The results showed that the experiences gave more happiness in the short and long term.
And why is this?
Simply because memories of experiences deteriorate. For example, you forget the cold you went through snowboarding or sunbathing when surfing. However, you tend to remember the positive.
On the other hand, products tend to lose the value you give them. Surely you no longer value your Smartphone as much as the first week you had it.
In addition, if you buy experiences you are much more likely to spend time with other people. If you buy products you can isolate yourself more socially.
So what experiences can you buy and which are also cheap?
Here are 7 possibilities:
- Dance classes.
- A boat ride.
- A match of your favorite team (in Spain and Latin America there are parties that are economic).
- A low cost round trip flight. If you look good you can find them for approx. 50 Euros / 50 $.
- A meal / dinner with your partner or family.
- Go to the beach (you only have to pay gas or public transport).
- Go to a concert; there are many free concerts and others very economical.
In short, remember: shopping can give you happiness, even if you only buy experiences.