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Natural Awakenings

Invest in Happy Memories: Money Well Spent

Nov 01, 2009 02:00AM

Can money buy happiness? Yes, suggests a recent psychology study—provided we are buying life experiences, rather than material possessions. San Francisco State University research confirms that experiential purchases, such as movies or the theater or a relaxing meal at a restaurant with family or friends, result in increased feelings of social connectedness and well-being.

Study participants indicated that these experiential purchases gave them a sense of “money better spent” and greater happiness for both themselves and others, regardless of their income or the amount of money invested. Experiences also tend to lead to longer-term satisfaction. “Purchased experiences provide memory capital,” reported the researchers, who noted that “people don’t tend to get bored of happy memories like [they] do with a material object.”

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