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Deciding What to Spend Money on as a Key to Happiness? Choose an Experience

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what to spend money onI think most people are guilty of it. We need a little shop therapy from time to time.  Shopping regularly to make yourself happy is a problem but if you can afford it and are in the mood for a spending pick me up, how do you choose what to spend money on when it comes to happiness?

According to a prior psychological study done  at San Francisco University, the research found that those who shopped with the intention of making themselves happy tended to show higher levels of satisfaction during the experience and afterwards over those who chose to purchase material objects.  Ryan Howell’s findings,  which suggest “that people who buy life experiences are happier because experiential purchasing helps fulfill psychological needs that are vital for human growth and well-being. These include the need to feel competent, autonomous — or self-directed — and connected to others.”

What to Keep in Mind When Deciding What to Spend Money On

Howell was recently quoted in SF State News explaining that “Why you buy is just as important as what you buy. When people buy life experiences to impress others, it wipes out the well-being they receive from the purchase. That extrinsic motivation appears to undermine how the experiential purchase meets their key psychological needs.”

Be sure you are choosing your experiences for the right reasons. It’s easy to get caught up in competing with that annoying neighbor or coworker who brags about excursions. We know that it isn’t going to make us happy in the long run if we choose our experiences for the wrong reasons. So if feelings of happiness occur afterwards as well as during the moment, why not capture those experiences and extend the happiness even further by showcasing them in your home. What better way to capture a memory of a happy experience than a photo. It serves as a constant reminder of the pleasant memory.

Here are some ways to keep the memories alive on your walls.

food_network_tour21. Make artwork out of the photos. Use websites such as Picmonkey, Pixlr or Pizap to add effects to your photos. I used Pizap for the photo at the top of a recent post. Then I used Picmonkey for the middle and bottom photos of that particular post. I even used Picmonkey here to add the wording to the collage I previously made on the same website. These are especially handy for mundane or not so perfect photos. This will save you money on pricey souvenirs, let the photos be the only physical symbol of the experience.

2. Take photos and actually frame them. In this day and age it almost seems like a thing of the past to print pictures and put them in a frame. I just went to an area diner as a part of a food tour I made for myself. I reunited with a relative that I haven’t seen in a long time. I plan on showcasing the photos from my tour in my house. What better way to adding mean and personality to your home?

Try using interesting frames in a variety shapes and colors to add interest to the wall.If you prefer to keep things uniform like the display above, select frames that are the same shape, size and color. An added bonus is this option can save you money in the long run because black frames never go out of style. Read more about where to find these inexpensive frames for this collection at KenHail Photography.



I included a tutorial for hanging pictures on the wall so you don’t end up butchering them.
Check out this Youtube video from Lowe’s. If you found this post useful, please share it. That’s a fair trade, right?

11 responses to “Deciding What to Spend Money on as a Key to Happiness? Choose an Experience

  1. What I love about experiences is that they’re priceless! Tangibles can quickly and easily lose their value, or just be lost in general. But you keep the experience with you forever! I would love to do more traveling and start a traveling blog to document it, not necessarily for other readers but as sort of a digital scrapbook for myself. One day…

  2. That’s a great idea, Briana. Experiences do stay forever especially if they are on the internet.;0)

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