They say money can’t buy happiness, but is that really the case?
After all, aren’t we chasing money for the sake of happiness? Money can buy us all the things we ever wanted!
But it turns out, most people are spending their money on the wrong things, and as a result are LESS happy.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying sadness.
If you follow my advice, you can find the source of all your stress and eliminate it permanently.
And the best part?
Kicking this habit leaves you with more money in your pocket and a way to use it to increase YOUR quality of life.
Do you ever come home and feel as though you might be swallowed by your house? There’s stuff on the coffee table, the laundry is piling up, you have too many dishes in the sink…
Sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by clutter that you spend all your energy trying to keep up with.
In fact, the average American home has 300,000 items in it. That’s a lot of stuff.
And what kind of stuff is it?
Usually clothes, toys, jewelry, extra plates, second sets of silverware, you name it.
If you want some staggering numbers, American materialist culture has you covered.
Even though only about 3% of children in the world are from the United States, the U.S. accounts for over 40% of toy consumption worldwide.
If that’s not enough to make you rethink what you’re buying, consider this—Americans spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches than they do on higher education. In fact, Americans spend an average of $1.2 trillion on nonessential goods each year.
What does all of this mean?
Americans are obsessed with stuff.
Recent studies have shown that there are a combination of factors affecting the way we make purchases.
First, it’s important to note that materialism and unhappiness have a give-and-take relationship. Studies show that if you are suffering from a mental illness like anxiety or depression, you are more likely to give in to materialistic tendencies, looking for joy in objects.
On the other hand, if you become materialistic, you are more likely to contract a mental illness like anxiety or depression.
In fact, as people become more materialistic, their general wellbeing consistently diminishes. People become higher at risk for mental disorders, experience heightened selfishness and a decline in social responsibility.
Another factor that hugely affects the rate of materialistic spending is consumer culture. We are constantly bombarded by materialist media, convincing us to buy, buy, buy.
And when we do, we immediately experience a decline in our wellbeing.
The last factor that has bearing on materialist tendencies is income. It may come as a surprise, but lower income individuals are actually more likely to showcase material habits.
Studies show that lower income individuals are more likely to spend their money on objects than anything else, because they are concerned with making the most of their limited resources.
Where those that are more affluent may spend their money on an experience, those with limited income spend their money on materials because they can provide practical benefits, they are physically lasting, and they are perceived to have resale value.
However, in a number of studies, experiences have been tied very closely with personal fulfillment and happiness. Where materialism fosters social isolation and substituting objects for something missing, experiences foster social interaction, discovery, and growth.
Higher income individuals who travel frequently and are not preoccupied with physical possessions are shown to have noticeably higher rates of personal satisfaction.
So, clearly, materialism isn’t the healthiest of habits, but there are other habits that are good for you.
But how do you make this happen?
Well, the first step is clearing out anything you don’t need. Cut down on excessive kitchenware, get rid of books you never look at, clean out your closet, and generally collect everything that gets in the way.
If you aren’t using it every week, you probably aren’t using it at all.
If you’re worried about ‘throwing money away’ you can have a yard sale and get some funds back. But either way, getting rid of stuff is actually going to save you money in the long run.
It means less upkeep on objects, it means less of your time spent cleaning and organizing, and it means kicking the buying habit, which will result in massive savings over time.
Once you’re past the need for stuff, you’ll find that your home and mind are much clearer, and you are generally happier and more relaxed.
After a while, you’ll also notice that your savings are piling up, because you’re no longer throwing money away on trinkets that you don’t need.
Now that you are settled in your clutter-free life, it’s time to start spending your money the right way.
Like I said, experiences bring fulfillment more than any other purchase, so don’t be afraid to take that trip you’ve always dreamed about.
Spend your money on a nice night out with your partner, or use it to fly out to visit a friend or relative you haven’t seen in a while. Tuck it away for retirement, or use it to pursue a hobby you’ve always wanted to learn.
It’s completely up to you—as long as it’s an experience and not a thing.
It turns out money can buy you happiness, as long as you know how to buy it!