Everywhere we look, may it be in stores or online, we are bombarded with the same message “BUY” and “SALE” like it’s telling us we’d miss a lot if we don’t purchase anything new. While buying new clothes, gadgets or the first drive in a new car may be satisfying and thrilling, those feelings are just temporary. And when it fades, we find ourselves back in the same place looking for the next purchase to keep the feeling going. 

Sure it makes us feel good but trust us, there is a better way to spend your money and keep that feeling alive! And that’s spending more on experiences than on material things.

Here are three things to prove that it’s better to invest in experiences!

1. Study confirms it

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Dr. Elizabeth Dunn at the University of British Columbia studied and attributes the temporary happiness achieved by buying things to what she calls “puddles of pleasure.” In other words, that kind of happiness fades quickly and leaves us wanting more. Things may last longer than experiences, but the memories that linger are what matter most.

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades discovered in a series of eight studies that people get more enduring happiness from spending money on experiences rather than possessions. Consumers get an initial high from acquiring new material purchases, however, individuals quickly adapt to these items then compare them with other objects and second-guess their choice of purchases. This results in a speedy loss of satisfaction. Life-experiences, on the other hand, are much less subject to being undermined by social comparisons; therefore the happiness caused by experiential purchases endures much longer, and in fact, increases over time.

Oliver James, a chartered psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society and as a relational psychoanalyst at the Bowlby Centre says “Family holidays are valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterward in their memory. So, if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense.”

2. Better quality of life (Stuffocation vs. Experientialism)

Stuffocation gives psychological impact such as stress, poor attention span and impulsive buying. Moreover, things can be stolen, lost or broken while the engraved memory of travel experiences cannot. Compare looking back to the things that you lost from looking back to the time that you traveled. The more we lessen our obsession with things, the more it leads to a happier and meaningful life.

Ryan T. Howell (Psychology professor at San Francisco State University), Pauline Pchelin (Alumna of San Francisco State University) and Ravi Iyer (social psychologist and data scientist) developed the Experiential Buying Tendency Scale (EBTS) in order to aid researchers to understand further and measure the preference for experiential buying (spending money on experiences rather than material products). Sampling 9,634 people whilst developing the EBTS, the researchers found those with less-materialistic values were the ones predicted to prefer spending money on experiences, which, ultimately, led to them having increased subjective well-being.

3. Experiences define your purpose and passions

Experiences help you to discover your life purpose and passion. While your purpose and passion serve as your compass through life. Your daily activities should be guided and influenced by them, not material possessions. 

For example, if you enjoy writing and you believe it’s one of your life’s purposes then it makes sense for you to spend money on attending writing workshops or classes. Learn as much as you can about the field or industry. This goes for any other passion you have in life.

4. Learning lasts a lifetime

One of the best things you can do with money is learning a new skill or hobby. Take a class in crafting, cooking, singing, dancing, photography, etc. Learn to surf. Enroll in a creative writing class. In this way, you will learn new stuff that is fun and rewarding that could later lead you to discover your passion. Aside from this, it will broaden your horizons as a person, giving yourself new activities that you can participate in for a lifetime of fulfillment while expanding your social circle at the same time. Investing in the development of new skills is a fantastic way to meet new people and explore new avenues of life you may never have considered. Expanding yourself as a person will expand the ways in which you can experience joy, there is almost no downside. 

Now when it comes to traveling, ZEN Rooms delivers the best hospitality service and high-quality accommodation at a very affordable price to ensure its customers to have great travel experience. 

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