Make It a Treat

When’s the last time you’ve visited a landmark or major tourist attraction in your city? We tend to devalue things that are easily available. This means that a latte, cocktail, or favorite restaurant, becomes less enjoyable the more frequently you consume it.

By limiting access to your favorite things, you increase pleasure. Instead of drinking a latte every morning, try to limit it to Friday mornings. Want to indulge in a chocolate bar? Divide your treat into small pieces and eat it throughout the day. Want to make Christmas morning more exciting? Wrap a lot of small gifts instead of one large gift.

When it comes to appreciation, sometimes less is more.

Reference

Dunn, Elizabeth & Norton, Michael (2014) Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending

Buy Experiences, Not Things

People who spend more money on experiences report higher satisfaction with their lives. Experiences provide more satisfaction than physical goods because experiences create a connection with others. Experiences also make us happier because they create memories.

You’re likely to enjoy your experiences more if:

  • The experience brings your closer with others.
  • The experience creates stories you’ll want to share again and again.
  • The experience is aligned with who you are and who you want to be.
  • The experience is a unique opportunity not easily available.

Satisfaction with experiences tends to increase over time, while satisfaction with things tends to decrease over time.

References

Dunn, Elizabeth & Norton, Michael (2014) Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending