Hi, I am Nataly and I am the co-founder of Work It, Mom!
I write the daily Work It, Mom! Blog where I talk about issues affecting working moms, goings on in our Work It, Mom! community, new site features, updates,and contests. I also share my own juggle between work and family and love to see members jump in with comments. Come and visit often!
Nataly's profile on Work It, Mom!
For example, going on vacation absolutely positively makes me happier. I’d go further and say that getting away from the day-to-day routine and traveling to a destination away from our home is almost as essential to my well-being as eating or sleeping. Do we need a ton of money for this? No, we can always hop in a car and spend the weekend at a little cottage by the beach or even stay with friends in a different city. But being able to spend some money on vacations means being able to visit new and amazing places, eat awesome food, see new art, enjoy new culture and music and yes, be more happy.
I’ve had a life motto for a while that goes something like this:
Life is short. Collect experiences.
The “experiences” part has always been key. Don’t get me wrong: Indulging in a little retail therapy can be a highly enjoyable thing and I’ve done it more than once. But perhaps inspired to a huge degree by my parents, who always prioritize travel and doing things over buying stuff, I’ve always been more partial to spending money on experiences. Traveling, going to concerts or movies, taking classes, stuff like that. Somehow it’s just more rewarding and happiness-contributing than a new pair of jeans (although those are very nice as well).
Turns out there is some research to suggest this is true for many people. According a great article about money and happiness that I think you guys should all check out in the New York Times:
[Researchers found] that our types of purchases, their size and frequency, and even the timing of the spending all affect long-term happiness. 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.
One of the reasons that scientists suspect this is true is that it takes longer to engage in experiences than to adapt to new stuff. The other reason is that there is always something new about any experience while it’s fairly easy to get used to the new stuff you’ve bought because it’s the same. Every weekend trip we take is a bit different, as is every dance class or dinner with a friend. But while I like how I feel when I put on my new pair of jeans — and I like how I look whenever I wear them — I get used to having them and derive less pleasure from the fact that I have them.
This all makes a lot of sense to me and while, sure, it’s nice to find some science to support what I’ve believed for a long time, I think the rationale is intuitive. So I am curious: Do you agree with the basic idea that spending money on experiences makes you happier than spending money on things?
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