The Key to Happiness? Investing in Experiences, Not Possessions

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With the majority of the millennial generation now in the workforce and accounting for over one-fourth of the U.S. population, studies show this group is increasingly spending their hard-earned dollars and time on experiences, not possessions. More than 3 in 4 Millennials are choosing to spend their money on experiences over tangible goods, and 55% say they’re spending more on experiences now than ever before. But what about the experiential life has captured the heart of this generation? Perhaps this group has found that leading a more fulfilling life is about creating, documenting, and sharing meaningful experiences with others.

Here are a few of the many reasons why spending your money on experiences can help you lead a happier, more simple life.

Deeper Relationships
Create a memorable experience by choosing to do something out of your comfort zone – cooking classes, camping, skydiving, or a treating yourselves to a couple’s massage. Nearly 8 in 10 millennials surveyed by Harris Poll said that attending live events with friends and family has helped to deepen their relationships. By prioritizing experiences over possessions, we show our loved ones that we value their time and company. Investing in shared experiences can challenge you, teach you valuable life lessons, and help you build deeper emotional bonds.

Less Clutter
With the rise of minimalism, we’ve all heard that decluttering our homes of items that don’t bring us “joy” can help simplify our lives. It’s hard to unwind and decompress after a long day in a home that we find less than restorative. Choosing to spend your money on experiences instead of material goods will not only lead to less physical clutter in your life but less mental clutter as well. One study revealed that a cluttered, disorganized home could have negative impacts on stress levels, cortisol levels, and mood.  Make conscious decisions to buy only what you need and rid your closet of what you don’t. You will you slowly begin to lose that “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality and, in turn, will free up the extra cash to try that new barre class or restaurant.

A Sense of Community
Experiences, by nature, are more social. Social media platforms have adapted to give us an avenue to document and share our experiences by calling our friends and loved ones to action, joining in community events, and participating in fundraising efforts.

Experiences create priceless memories that last a lifetime. On a social level, they can help us to bond, engage, and create a more profound sense of community. On a personal level, experiences can help shape our identity and world-view. As the experience economy grows and evolves to meet rising demands, how will you choose to spend your money?

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