Yes, we know this sounds like we’ve got our heads screwed on backward, but it’s true (not the heads bit). You can buy happiness, if you know what boosts your pleasure.
Here’s a clue: If you’ve been eyeing new tech gadgets, save your cash. Stuff, especially electronic stuff, is at the bottom of the make-you-happy list. What’s tops? Experiences — vacations, a show, outings with friends, etc. Here’s why: With material goods, even after you’ve bought them, you keep on comparison shopping. Discover that you could have gotten it cheaper or that there’s a cooler version coming soon (natch!), and goodbye happiness, hello buyer’s remorse. But experiences become your memories, part of who you are. So no big regrets if you find cheaper tickets later. You can’t upgrade those good times. Bonus: Regularly spending time with friends and family makes your RealAge up to 3.5 years younger.
Plus, everyone wants more vacation. If you were asked whether you’d rather live in a world where everyone had eight weeks of vacation and you had four, or where everyone had one week and you had two, which would you choose? Four weeks? Yep, so would most people.
That’s not true with money: Given the choice of making $50,000 when everyone else makes $25,000, or making $100,000 when others make $200,000, the majority of people would take a $50,000 pay cut just to make more than their neighbors.
Bottom line: Got some money tucked away? Start looking into fun experiences with loved ones. You’ll make everybody happier.
The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen, are authors of “YOU: On a Diet.” Want more? See “The Dr. Oz Show” on TV. To submit questions, go to www.RealAge.com.