How much happiness money can buy

I was reading something yesterday about happiness, and it said they found that people got more long-term happiness from spending money on doing things or going places, rather than buying things. I agree! But there’s some interactive overlap there — namely, buying things you do things with.

For instance, my guitars make me happy because I like to play them. My books make me happy when I read them, and music makes me happy when I get to listen. Oh, and the art hanging on my walls still makes me very happy when I look at it. And it makes me happy to have a reliable car, because I’ve spent so many years without one.

Oh, and the computer. Well, tools of the trade and all that. But I go for cheap and practical, rather than trendy and cool.

But the other stuff? I could live without it. I’m not one of those people who thinks my life would be perfect if only I could get a new dining room set. (Although, you know, dishes.)

But generally speaking, I don’t care much about owning things unless you can do stuff with them.

What about you?

7 thoughts on “How much happiness money can buy

  1. I’m with you, Susie. The stuff that makes me happy are those that give something back to me. Mostly books, my bikes (though I have not had time to ride lately), and maybe some clothing items (just certain well-made ones).

  2. It really is a matter of being true to oneself. If you buy new china because you love to entertain and provide an interesting experience for your guests, I think that purchase canl make you happy. If you buy the china because your neighbor or a sibling just bought some new place settings and you want to to grab some attention away from them, you will probably feel empty.

    Things don’t fill a hole in your life, but you can use those things to engage life.

  3. The stuff I care about falls into a very few categories. Books, CDs and records, stereo, guitars (and amps, where applicable), and computer. (Toss in the typewriters I own, but that falls under computers, since they’re all primarily writing instruments) I own a car, but my wife does 95% of the driving of it. (I’d give up driving in a heartbeat if I didn’t have two little kids who can’t walk long distances) I’ve got some other hobbies, but those are all secondary to books, music, and writing.

  4. I’m really not big into the consumer thing. I’ve always adhered to the philosophy that you don’t own things, they own you. But . . . when I walk through the hardware store . . . so . . . many . . . gadgets!

  5. Couldn’t agree more. People are always surprised at how ‘old’ most of my stuff is. The dishwasher came with the house, built in 1973. My 27 year old microwave just went out. The car, 13 years and counting (altho I could certainly do with one that got better mileage). When people ask me why, I tell them that the microwave is designed to defrost and reheat, and the 27 year old microwave still worked, so why the hell would I want a new one? Function over form for this dude.

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