Want to Be Happy? Do More, Don't Buy More

Take a vacation instead of buying a new toy
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2011 3:37 PM CDT
Want to Be Happy? Do More, Don't Buy More
See? The real thing is way cooler than your screen saver.   (Shutterstock)

Quick, which will make you happier: buying a shiny new computer or using the money to go on vacation? Cornell researchers exploring such questions say the vacation is the better bet, reports Time. It may seem odd: The computer will be around for a while, while the getaway is a fleeting thing. But the memories you form on a vacation are what matter, and they trump the excitement of a material purchase over time.

Consider that "people’s most common regrets about material goods are those of action—buying something that later seems unwise or impulsive," adds Time's Moneyland blog. "Their biggest regrets about experiential purchases tend to be regrets of inaction—not pouncing on an experience that was there for the taking." Bottom line: Use that bonus on a vacation, and you'll thank yourself later. (More happiness stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.