Won’t Buy You Happiness

Why Things Won’t Buy You Happiness … But This Can

It’s a paradox. We buy things to make us happy but then our human adaptation “kicks in,” and we’re not happy anymore.

#4-This Study Showed Not Spending Money On Things Doesn’t Work

A Cornell University professor, Dr. Thomas Gilovich, reached this conclusion. His study points out 3 reasons.


  • The novelty quickly wears off. What was once exciting becomes the norm quickly.
  • We raise the bar. Expectations rise as the “newness” wears off.
  • The Jones are always nearby. It’s natural for humans to make comparisons. Remember, there is always someone who will have something better than you.


#3-Experiences Have Staying Power

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Although they may seem fleeting, experiences become a part of who we are. They are the culmination of everything we’ve seen, done and been. You cannot internalize possessions. You also do not experience buyer’s remorse with experiences. The experiences are fleeting, and that is what makes them more valuable. Their values increase over age.

#2-It’s Hard To Quantify

A Harvard study showed that when participants were asked if they would either make a lot of money that was lower than their peers or make a smaller salary that was higher than their peers, there was no definitive answer. But, when they were asked the same question regarding vacations, the majority of people chose a longer vacation, even if it was shorter than that of their peers.

#1-Anticipation Makes A Difference

Of course, we get excited over getting a new “toy.” Often, that anticipation gives way to impatience. Experiences, however, are enjoyable from the first moment of planning all through the end to when memories are made.

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