Experiences vs. Things: On Which Your Hard earned Money Should Be Spent

Let’s start the discussion with a question: What is the happiest moment in your life?

Most of the happiest moments of our life are related in gathering experience. An object can bring a sweet smile for a while. But soon it will be faded away.

After a long time research, psychologists have concluded with a deduction that all the experiences of a person’s life, bears the true meaning of happiness. It lasts longer than receiving a gift from your dear one.

There are two important ways in spending money. Either you can visit a nearby place or buy a tangible thing. Do you know what will happen next? You will remember the places and sceneries of that location for more than a decade. If you visit with friends, you may still have the sound of giggling, the taste of the food and enjoyment of singing. But will the thing last for a decade? I doubt it. Considering this fact, the scientists and psychologists have found several reasons to motivate people on spending money for experiences rather than attaining things.

Spending Money on Things

To lead a happy and cheerful life, it requires a lot of things. From the beginning of the day to the end of the day, we have to use tools consequently.

Starting with a toothbrush, we finish the day with an alarm clock. But every one of them is destructible. If you decide to spend money on making life easier or adding new luxury tools, there will be some problems. Let’s face them: 

Experiences vs. Things: On Which Your Hard-earned Money Should Be Spent?

1. Getting Used To:

When the first iPhone appeared, people were too much excited to grab one from the Apple Store. They were happy.

Now, which one will give you more happiness, an old featured iPhone 1 or newly arrived iPhone 7? 
People cannot stick into something for long. This is the major reason that they cannot smile longer after buying things.

Soon, you will forget the contribution or the role of that thing in your life. 20 years of study by Cornell University proves the actual meaning of attaining happiness. As soon as you get a thing in your hand, the magic goes away!

The most annoying part is, of course, the advancement of technology. All the thing you buy will be advanced and made better in the future. You must give up the older to grab the newer ones. The feeling of deprivation starts to grab you from the very deep in the heart.

2. Dissatisfaction:

What do you want?

A simple question contains the box of dissatisfaction.

The second problem is the most dangerous problem in this scenario. 

Things can satisfy the want for a while.

During the next month after spending money for a thing, you will not feel the same charm and affection. When you rush for things, you cannot justify the actual meaning of satisfaction. The expectation for new things starts to raise the bar higher and higher. You need to wait until you get the ability to reach the top position for acquiring that particular thing.

We can simplify this point with an example:

Assume that your mom buys a curtain. The window looks good for a few days. Soon enough, you will find it dull and monotonous. Then, you will ask your mom to buy a new curtain. The thing that first brought a smile to your face and gave you happiness has started to seem dull and boring.

The same kind of stuff happens when you start to spend all your lifetime assets for buying things, rather than gathering experiences.

3. Jealousy:

Believe it or not, jealousy takes place every time you upgrade objects around you.

Yes, the first time you show your car to a friend, it’s cool. It is good until your friend buys a highly featured car. Subconsciously, you will start to compare your thing with his or her thing.

The unhealthy comparison makes your life a little more vulnerable. All the money you spent on the car, becomes useless.

Deep in your conscience, you will want to buy a better car than your friend. The competition and jealousy do not let you live happily. The memory of your first car fades away as soon as you start to think about the second car.

It is the actual reality that Dr. Thomas Gilovich said after the research on the actual way of spending money.

What is the actual reason for such problems?

Simple! Possession of something also indicates the uncertainty of its longevity.

For example, suppose, you are working in a restaurant for buying a laptop. You are saving money and dreaming about a nice laptop. After you achieve the goal, it will make you happy. Whenever you touch, see and use the laptop, you will feel satisfied. The possession of your desired thing is making you happy.

Imagine that the laptop is lost from your house. Or, it falls into a bucket of water. Your possession is over!

You should search for something that is imperishable. Spending your money should be worthy. The vision must be clear. What will you expect when you are fighting with death in a hospital? Nothing can make you happy then, but the memory. It cannot be transferred or re-created.

Memories stay longer and inspire the person to live longer for a mission.

It is the actual difference between having a possession of things and gathering experiences.

In the later segment, our focus will be how experience can make the life better.

Experience: The Real Way to Spend Money 

Here is the same question. Do you remember your first day at school? None can forget that moment.

For the most of us, it is the best experience. We have. Dr. Gilovich Has indicated to this point.

Your hard earned money should be spent on some good reasons. What can be better than gathering experiences?

What is the Power of Experiences?

Experience has the power to improvise your existence. You can test this fact whenever you are telling a story in front of your dear ones or friends.
The involvement with a real life experience cannot be compared with the short-term happiness of buying a thing.

Our brain is very sharp in remembering our best memories. Along with the memory, we can taste all the consequences related to that experience. Let’s see the role of experience in becoming happy in life:

1. Soul involvement:

Like we previously discussed, the experience is something that you cannot measure with anything. Money plays an important part in gathering it. But the real enjoyment lies in making it your identity.

If you pay a visit to the Pyramids of Egypt, the experience will be stored for a long time in your head. Once, you can tell your grandson about the warmth you felt, height you saw and things you did.

Our subconscious mind is more powerful to make you happy every single time you remember of that tour.

The previous example applies for here too. When you work hard in a restaurant to visit the Mount Everest, it will be worthier than buying a laptop. There will be no chance of losing the memory in the bucket. A thief cannot steal the experience from your heart, can they? Not a chance!

2. Non-fading Nature:

Unlike tangible things that you may buy with money, experiences last for long. Even you face a bitter situation or poverty in later life; your experiences will make you stronger.

Sometimes, there is a chance of passing the rest of life with it too! A big portion of our life passes in making money and spending it on the tools.

What happens if you learn painting? Or, driving?

None remains unemployed if he/she has experience in doing something.

Let your heart say how you can pass the rest of your life. For an experienced acquirer, life starts after retirement. Your hard earned money will make you livelier and evergreen. To keep every second alive, gather as much experience as you can. It will not be faded away like touchable, tangible and objective things.

No Comparison, No Tension, Stay Happy:

It is easy to compare your newly bought BMW with your friend’s Toyota. But can you compare your Europe tour with your buddy’s America tour?

Of course, this is impossible. They are not quantifiable. Every experience is new and it tastes different from each other.

For instance, assume that, a happily married new couple goes for honeymoon and an old couple is visiting a beach in summer vacation. Both of them passes time with their life-partners. So, they enjoy thoroughly. But there is no way of measuring their enjoyment. Because of having no quantity of happiness or enjoyment in experiences, none can compare the couple’s fulfillment. If jealousy does not take the place, you will remain happy with the memory as long as you want. Does it make sense?

You must try to be freed from the comparing attitude. Spend money where you can acquire new experiences. Every one of them will keep you alive until you die.

4. Mission Fulfillment:

Do you play games? The most exciting part of every game is mission completion.

You can work hard for buying a new gadget. Imagine that the device arrives in market and you do not have the money till then. A sudden impatience will take place. But the Mount Everest is not running away from you, not the art exhibition too.

When you fly over the Himalayas for the first time, the thrill and excitement will be incredible.

Here is the actual difference between excitement and impatience:

The product makes a person impatient. Whereas, experience brings excitement and thrill in life. The second one is like fuel to lead a well-maintained life.

The best part is that the excitement will lead you to a proper experience. The neuron cells of your brain will store every awaited moment. But impatience often leads to disappointed. Dr. Thomas Gilovich mentioned the requirement of excitement, thrill, and adventure in our life. And, he has forbidden to run for a perishable thing. The impatience may result in obsession or depression.

Same Experience, Different Feelings:

You are bound to shout in a roller-coaster ride. The thrilling will not bore you. Again, it is not possible to recreate the moment. The first ride can be better than the second one. Or, the third one can be better than the first one. The feelings vary a lot.

This happens because of the change in expectation. You cannot expect such surprise from your new Surface Pro Tab.

Advancement takes place with things and its magic fades gradually. Experience has no such thing. You can expect the difference in feelings. You cannot paint Monalisa for the second time. But it is possible to paint a better one. It may exceed your expectation. The surprise lies in experience. It does not require much advancement. Just spend money on it, and let the fun begin!

Full Package:

Buying things with your money is the source of temporary happiness. After you know everything about a new car, the happiness starts to diminish.

On the other hand, experience has come up with the longest lasting capability. The magic never ends. It wonders you all the time.
Traveling, painting or getting involved in something is always an expression of your affection. These bring a sudden change in your personality and lifestyle. Often, a positive vibe surrounds you all the time. So, all the experiences is a full package of life. And, the thing is just a part of your valuable life.


Do not let your money to be spent in vain. Things are important. But experiences are more essential. It makes you happier, satisfied and fulfilled.

As soon as you enter into the world of excitement and enjoyment, you can begin a whole new life with greater visions. Set your target on acquiring some new experiences. Make a list and keep it with you all the time. If life starts to bore you, take the list out of your pocket and see for which you are working. Spend the money for your desired experience.

Stay happy forever. 


  1. Muhammad Ahmad January 26, 2017
    • Shakir Hassan January 26, 2017
  2. James March 4, 2017
    • Shakir Hassan March 4, 2017

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