In a recent paper, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert states that “[Money] is an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they think will make them happy often don’t.” Quite tellingly, the paper is called: “If money doesn’t make you happy then you probably aren’t spending it right.” Interestingly, among his 8 principles that bring happiness for money number one is buying experiences instead of things (summary taken straight from this Business Insider article):
In a survey of over 1,000 Americans, 57% of respondents said that they derived greater happiness from an experiential purchase, like a trip, concert, or other life event, over a material purchase, like a car, appliance, or other object. We like experiences more because we get to anticipate and remember them, the research says, and we appreciate them longer.
“After devoting days to selecting the perfect hardwood floor to install in a new condo, homebuyers find their once beloved Brazilian cherry floors quickly become nothing more than the unnoticed ground beneath their feet,” the authors say. “In contrast, their memory of seeing a baby cheetah at dawn on an African safari continues to provide delight.”
We’ve always maintained that experiences are the strongest bond you can create as a brand. Now we also know that experiences beat a new hardwood floor.
You’re interested in the other seven principles? Here they are:
2. Spend money to help others instead of yourself.
3. Buy many small pleasures instead of few big ones.
4. Buy less insurance.
5. Pay now, consume later.
6. Think about what it’s really like to own the thing you want to buy.
7. Stop the comparison shopping.
8. Ask your friends.