Experience brings happiness, not money

Experience brings happiness, not money

Money is an emotional issue, especially during economic hard times. Social scientists have always warned that once a person’s basic needs are met money doesn’t buy happiness. But if you’re wondering, or maybe even arguing over, what to do with any precious discretionary income these days, a new study suggests how to get the biggest emotional bang for your buck.

Ryan Howell, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, found that buying experiences — such as vacations, going to the theater or renting a sailboat — gave people more happiness than buying material things. The study, of 154 people ages 19 to 50, showed that experiences increase happiness because they are often social in nature. In addition, however, experiences tend to make people feel more alive. “People report a sense of feeling invigorated or inspired,” Howell said in an interview. Experiences may also yield more happiness because people are left with positive memories, a sort of return on their investment.

To read more from this LA Times article on happiness – click here