Stuff v. Experiences - What Kind of Spending Increases Happiness?
Ever heard of the Easterlin Paradox? The idea is that more money can only do so much to make us happier once our immediate needs are met. The key is how and where to spend it. While it would be nice to drive high-end cars and own multiple properties around the country, research argues that it all gets old after a while. 'Keeping up with the Joneses', as they say, is not only tiresome, but futile. The kind of luxury that makes us happier isn't found in the material items we buy in fits of competitive angst; rather, it's the trips we take and the people we share them with. You can only find so much joy in designer clothes, for example, as there will always be next season's collection. Think about what kind of spending increases happiness for you; for a sports fan, might it be tickets to a championship game with your best friend instead of another jersey replica bought online?
Want to see the Swiss Alps? Forget the fancy wall art, landscapes, and vistas; start saving for a flight!
In addition to the Friday Happiness Post and Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time. Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer.