There’s a ton of research out there (most notably by Dan Gilbert) about the spending habits of people. In an article entitled “If money doesn’t make you happy, you probably aren’t spending it right” Gilbert and colleagues explain that spending habits, not necessarily income, is the key to your money making you happier. The number one message that Gilbert tries to get across is that if you spend money on experiences, rather than things or possessions, you will be happier in the long run. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with this. I remember being a kid and getting a new video game, loving it for about 3 or 4 weeks, and then not really using it anymore. On the other hand, the memories of going to Jays games, going on roadtrips, and spending time with friends have stuck with me forever.
The thing is, when you are on your death bed, you can’t take any possessions with you, and they’re not going to mean a damn thing. However, the memories that you have with your friends and family are what is going to give you peace of mind.
One incredible experience I had this weekend was the Color Run. Wow, holy amazing Batman! The Color Run is a 5K run where at every kilometer, the organizers throw powdered paint at you. Every KM is a different color. Every participant also gets a little baggie of this paint powder. A few friends and I went to this run, and it was incredibly fun. I also realized that it incorporated many of the things I love: 1) Company – I was with friends, not to mention the other 10,000 people, 2) New Experiences: I’ve never done anything like the Color Run before, and 3) Bringing people together – I brought up the idea to the class and that’s how we all started and we all got registered. This was another example that experiences are better than things. Anyone up for a little color next year?