Friday, March 8, 2013

Choosing experiences over things

I was reading a recent study, and 
psychologists have been saying it for years:
experiences make people happier than possessions.
In general, 
people are doing more and buying less. 
We are elevating the value of experiences over things thanks (in no small part) to the 

recent Recession. 
But once (or if) the recession is over (which I doubt will be any time soon) and we find ourselves with extra cash in our pockets, we still should continue to place greater value on the experiences we have vs things we can buy...and here is why:

diminishing value of things
within 6 weeks, if not sooner, of purchasing something, the initial excitement fades, and we become accustomed to the item.
Aka, it becomes just one more thing we own.

Value of experiences increase over time
our experiences from memories give us joy as we experience it, as well as when we remember them.

Experiences create relationships
experiences are usually shared with others, therefore create a social bonding between the people involved.

Have you noticed that when you are catching up with old friends, you talk about experiences you did together?

I have a very good friend who lives in South Florida. Rachel. We don't see each other very often, but when I saw her last time, we spent hours looking at pictures of our travels to Italy.
Talking about our College days.
We laughed about our train experiences, the places we visited and the people we met.
We talked about the trip of our lifetime, not
our first flat screen tv.
That's because things might be cool when we get them, but quickly loose luster and importance.

You can have too much stuff, 
but you can never have too many fond memories.
At the end of the day it's about how you spend your time, not your money.

So the question is,
are you spending your time working to pay off (or to buy) things you have filled your life with?

Stay Frugal,


NanaDiana said...

What a great post and there is so much truth in here- xo Diana

Libby said...

I'm totally in agreement. You've definitely had some wonderful experiences to share with your friends and family. I bet your kids will love your stories. :-)

Kelly said...

It was fun to see you in these pics from your days in Africa. I didn't know you went there! That's a great pic of you and "RN" in the boat too. That looked like fun. I've never gone white water rafting like that before. Well, at least not with helmets. I agree that experiences last longer than things in our memories.

Melissa Ryan said...

This is a great post. I cherish my pictures/ memories of our honey moon in Costa Rica, family vacations as a kid, and my internship on the horse breeding farm. One of my most prized possessions is a vase I bought in Costa Rica on the beach from a family that makes them. It isn't worth much at all, but it brings back all the good times we had on that trip!

Anonymous said...

Great post. I too have many memories of my experiences. The summer I slept along side a young horse I took care of, seeing the Thousand Islands the first time, riding the Maid of the Mist in Niagra Falls and the huge rain coat they gave me, the first time I saw the Grand Canyon and the last time with my son who was about to leave joining the military when he had to get the perfect picture by hanging from one leg over the railing into the canyon.

What I can't remember is what I received as presents growing up. I have only one memory of a Christmas present (a clock radio when I was 12).

Unfortunately I have to agree with you on your views of the economic situation. I don't think we are seeing the end, possibly only the beginning.

Revi said...

I know you're right. I need to do more fun things with loved ones!

Leslie Harris said...

I love this post!!!Wow, you reallysummed it up perfectly and the best part was learning about you. And seeing those great photos from you past. What interesting experiences you've had. Thanks for sharing such wise thoughts, I've tried to live my life with these sentiments in mind.
Leslie (Gwen Moss)


Hi Daniela, I'm 67 yo and I really believe you are right. Even people with lack of jobs, and some with more severe lack, I find people are having fun, doing less expensive things and still making great memories. Thanks for for sharing your ponderings you make great sense!! Linda B.