Experiences Vs. Things

Money doesn’t grow on trees nor does it magically appear out of an ATM. We are always in pursuit of happiness yet we often forget that money has no correlation to it.

Have you ever taken a moment and looked back on your life experiences, achievements, purchases, and memories and wished you would have bought more stuff?

Take a moment and look at the things you have spent money on recently. Most of us will find that we have spent much more on items than we have on experiences.  Do you still have those items? Are they still in good shape or even usable? Do they make you happy? If you had the same opportunity to buy that same item(s) again – would you? Often times we purchase something because we feel that physical item will last longer and make us happier than an experience that happens just once. However, that assumption is false.

Research from the San Francisco State University in 2016 found that people who spent money on experiences rather than material items were happier and felt the money was better spent. We never want to live life with regrets but many times we later regret the money we spent on things that we really didn’t need or want. It was an impulse buy. Perhaps to feel better about ourselves.

The one true way to actually boost our confidence is to find a way to make ourselves happy and that often times is by experiencing something. Experiences really are much more important than material goods. This idea has long been the domain of Cornell psychology professor Thomas Gilovich. It’s not only living in the moment but also the anticipation of the experience. Things such as trips, concerts, movie, adventures really start giving you happiness the minute you plan it, not only when you are actually experiencing it.

We have always thought that experiences were the foundation of our happiness which is why we started the “Live It List.” The idea of this list is based off the common Bucket List – however, because of the negative connotation surrounding why you make a Bucket List, we re-branded it into a “Live It List”. That is, a list of experiences you want to encounter while you are living your life to the fullest and with true happiness.  We would love for you to share your Live It List experiences with us and to check out our list by visiting www.prosperwell.com.

Raymond James is not affiliated with the entities or individuals listed above. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the FA and sources and not necessarily those of Raymond James.