A 2010 Cornell University study by Travis J. Carter and Thomas Gilovich shows that experiences have greater value than material items. 

After buying something we often experience negative emotions.  We have buyer's remorse thinking that we might not have bought the right item at the best price. Whatever happiness is derived from a purchase diminishes over time.
Experiences (going to the theater, taking a vacation, or hiking for the afternoon) generate more positive, lasting emotions. Our satisfaction with experiences tend to increase over time.
Over the longer term, it is the experiences that generate happiness and satisfaction.  Not the purchases. 

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