Vacations vs. Things

Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences

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We live in a consumer-oriented world. Everywhere we go, there are subtle (and not-so subtle) messages driving that fact home. Advertisements for the newest tech gadget. Salespeople trying to convince you that you need the latest and greatest product. Commercials bombarding you with clever marketing, saying that you are not really enjoying life if you do not own such-and-such.

But, given the choice, would you rather spend your hard-earned dollars on experiences or material things?

Money is a valued commodity, and it is obviously up to you how you choose to spend your income. If buying the newest iPhone or getting a seventh watch that will sit in the closet with the rest of them is your cup of tea, that is totally fine. We, however, choose to spend our money on vacations and experiences!

Life is meant to be enjoyed, to have exciting experiences that we can share with our friends and families. It is about meeting new people and gaining different perspectives so that we can have a better, more fulfilling understanding of our diverse world. It is about stepping out of our comfort zones, making memories, and enhancing our own life stories. Vacations, adventures, experiences…these are what weave our lives into vibrant mosaic of happiness, fun, and excitement. These are what make life worth living.

Of course, do not just take our word for it - listen to science.

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, has spent decades studying the relationship between money and happiness. His research shows that although buying material goods can bring us brief happiness, the excitement wears off quickly, and we tend to adapt as the once new thing becomes the new norm. According to the results of Gilovich’s study, “while the happiness from material purchases diminishes over time, experiences become part of our identity…over time, people’s satisfaction with the things they bought went down, whereas their satisfaction with experiences they spent money on went up” (The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things).

There are a number of reasons that our happiness levels are higher when it comes to doing things rather than buying things. Our identities are a direct result of our experiences. Everything that we do, feel, and become during our experiences makes up who we are as individuals. Additionally, experiences are shared with others, whether it be friends, family, or strangers. Human connection and shared memories are more valuable than all of our material goods combined…they are priceless!

Destin Surfer

Next time you are deciding between a new possession or a vacation, think about which one will really bring you the most happiness.

Imagine this. It is summer time, work is stressful, and you need a break. Your friends have invited you on a week-long beach vacation, but the latest flat-screen TV has also been released with all the newest features and technology that will “wow” anyone who visits. Your money is a limited resource, and you can only pick one. What do you choose?

Think about it this way. The novelty of the TV will soon wear off, probably more quickly than you realize. It becomes your new norm. Pretty soon, an even newer TV is announced, and you find yourself wanting that one instead, especially when you hear your next-door neighbor has purchased one and is having a party to celebrate. The brief happiness you had from getting that brand new, state-of-the-art TV has settled, and you are back to feeling the way you did before buying it.

If you choose to go on the beach vacation with your friends, however, the possibilities for fun and exciting experiences are endless! Maybe you will spend the evenings laughing with your friends, watching gorgeous beach sunsets. Perhaps you will find a bar with live music and find yourself dancing until your feet hurt. You might even meet a new group of friends and stay in touch for years to come. One thing is certain, though, the memories you make on vacation will last a lifetime. Even if not every moment is your favorite – maybe you tripped running on the beach and fell face first in the sand – you will have a multitude of stories to tell and fond memories to look back on!

So, what will it be…things or a vacation?

Start planning your next beach vacation with Ocean Reef Resorts. With our team of reservation specialists here to help, you can be sure your vacation experiences will be unique, fun, and memorable!