From cars to cat toys, there is no limit to the amount of things people can buy these days, all in the effort to make themselves feel happier, and sometimes, to impress others. However, it’s easily argued that it is experiences that make people the happiest. Keep reading to learn several compelling reasons why you should consider putting your hard-earned cash towards experience, rather than tangible items you can hold in your hands.
You’ll Gain A Broader Perspective
Spending money on experiences likely means you’ll step out of your comfort zone. Whether you go sky diving or visit a foreign country, those are just two of many examples of experiences that could push you to do something you’d not ordinarily try. Any time you do things that are unfamiliar, you’ll probably come away from them with a perspective that’s broader than the one you had before.
As a result, you’ll see the world in a different way and probably feel proud of yourself for stepping boldly into that unfamiliar territory.
You’ll Have Memories To Keep Forever
Whereas many products can wear out, memories never die unless you’re affected by a disorder that makes you eventually lose some of your cognitive abilities. In any case, you can easily create journals that capture the full details of your experiences so you can refer back to them whenever you’d like, even decades later.
Furthermore, there’s a good chance you have a cell phone with a camera function, so you can take snapshots that remind you of certain experiences, without forking out extra cash to buy a separate camera.
You Could Strengthen Your Relationships
Consider that by taking part in an experience with a significant other, close friend or relative, you could strengthen the relationship the two of you share. Chances are, you both will have to work together to solve problems and make decisions. This reality is precisely why team-building exercises usually focus on experiences, not items. By pursuing experiences together, you’ll grow closer and appreciate each other’s strengths.
Also, keep in mind that new experiences may cause certain previously hidden weaknesses to become apparent. However, that’s not a downside, but merely a chance to appreciate the other person more fully.
Your Dreams May Come True
Depending on the context of the experiences you enjoy, they could help you finally fulfill dreams. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to see Bruce Springsteen live in concert, and you got the chance to do just that when he came to your town. Perhaps you’ve always wanted the chance to drive a fully functional stock race car around a track and were able to do that at your nearest racing facility.
Sure, it costs money to buy the things that help you have those experiences, such as concert tickets and racing passes, but what you’re really taking advantage of are the experiences themselves.
People Get Bored By Things
Eventually, after people buy new things, they inevitably become bored by them. Even if you buy the latest and greatest car, you’ll probably end up thinking it’s not as great as it seemed at first. However, because experiences are short-lived, yet bring memories that last forever, you won’t usually have to worry about becoming bored by them.
You might initially feel very happy after buying your new automobile, but that happiness will likely soon fade. That’s normally not true of most experiences because they’re so immersive that you can remember all the aspects related to the experiences for years after you actually do them.
Experiences Become Part Of Your Identity
Many experiences shape who you are as a person, forever changing your identity. For example, after you travel to Ireland, you’re suddenly part of a worldwide group of others who have traveled to Ireland as well and should never run out of things to talk about with those individuals. Although the same could be said for some possessions, there’s normally such a great degree of difference among people who share broad types of experiences versus those who own the same kinds of products.
People across the world who own MacBook Pro computers generally have universal experiences unless they buy defective machines, because the Apple company works hard to build computers that offer high-quality performance for all needs. On the other hand, going back to the Ireland example, if you travel to the Emerald Isle, there are thousands of places and attractions you could check out, and the same goes for anyone else who takes a trip there.
That means that even if you find someone else who has traveled to Ireland, it’s almost out of the question that the person would have gone to the exact places you did while on their trip.
Experiences Cause Anticipation
Social research has indicated that whereas people get excited when they look forward to being able to take part in experiences, the same isn’t true about possessions. When people wait to get the things they want, they tend to feel impatient. Perhaps that’s because many people aren’t sure when exactly they’ll get to buy the things they want, especially if they’re very expensive.
In contrast, many experiences have certain dates attached to them. It’s even common for people to have “countdown clocks” that let them know how much time remains before a certain experience will come to pass.
Experiences Help You Pursue Your Passions
People often take part in experiences because those opportunities relate to something they want to do in life, perhaps as a career. Maybe you’ve always wanted to work in the music industry, and a friend of yours who’s in an independent band has invited you to come on tour for two weeks. This is an example of a chance of a lifetime that not only gives you the chance to have fun, but allows you to see if the music industry is everything you expected or actually isn’t the right career path for you.
Through this experience, you’ll undoubtedly go through the challenges and victories that musicians face when they’re on the road, and it will give you a taste of what’s to come if you keep pursuing such a passion.
Experiences Help You Feel Grateful For All You Have
Experiences enable you to cultivate gratitude because they expose you to unfamiliar things that will probably give you glimpses into how other people live. When you get too comfortable within the boundaries of what you know of the world, it’s easy to just take everything for granted.
However, the more you notice your fellow humans through experiences, the easier it will be to call to mind all the great things you have in your life and see that you’re a lot better off than some people.
Hopefully, it’s now clear why your money is often better spent on experiences rather than things. Keep these points in mind the next time you pull out your wallet!