We are a society of instant gratification. We WANT (not need) new clothes, bigger houses, sound systems, fancy cars, cool kicks, expensive jewelry- you name it- and are willing to max out our lives to do so. Some of us even stay in jobs we hate to pay for all our “needs“.

However, the shine on something new wears off. Always. Sometimes within minutes.

But, have you ever met a person without a lot of “stuff” who is incredibly happy? They take trips, spend time outdoors, do lots of family activities, and unplug on a regular basis. They have that “ahhhhh” about them.

The happiest people in this world have found a way to distance themselves from shopping addictions and unnecessary spending, choosing instead to put their money toward travel, experiences, and memories. And it pays off.

From the article:

“Just think about it: At the end of your life, are you going to be reminiscing about the fact that you had an iPhone 6 Plus while everyone else was still using the 5, or are you going to recall golden memories you shared with the people who shaped who you’ve become?”

The Journal of Positive Psychology published a study showing that people who made expensive purchases on products often devalued the item’s worth directly after buying it. And yet, before even making the purchase, people could articulate that life experiences would be more beneficial. So why do we continue to buy, some of us maxing out credit cards into the tens of thousands of dollars? Society. Trends. We simply get caught up.

Society. Trends. We simply get caught up.

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, has been looking for a link between money and happiness and he says, “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them. I’m not saying you should never reward a couple of hard weeks at work with a new outfit and a night out, but our larger investments should go toward experiences that create lifelong memories rather than an item that will lose its “cool” factor within a few years.”

He goes on to say that our experiences are actually a bigger part of us than the things we own; we can really like our material things, even view them as part of our identity but nonetheless, they remain separate from us. However, experiences are a part of us- we are the sum total of our experiences.

The next time you think you need something, take a minute to reevaluate. Perhaps take a month or even a year off from mindless buying and see what you can save- and how you might dream about the future- in that time. Use that money on a memory that you’ll have and treasure forever.

Source: Elite Daily