BSB 806 015

To give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

×

Due to planned maintenance, access to our digital banking services and phone banking will be unavailable from 1:10am through to 7:00am on Sunday 26 June AWST. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. View details

×
BSB 806 015
   All articles
& My money

Can money buy you happiness?

Can money buy you happiness?

Why does purchasing an experience have a greater impact on our happiness than purchasing material goods? Experiences create memories to reflect on, long after they have passed.

What is value for money?

When we think of value for our money, it makes sense to think of something that will last a long time. But is happiness a lasting effect of buying material goods?

In a 2014 study by San Francisco State University, Professor Howell found that spenders often feel a happiness boost from buying a material item, however this feeling soon disappears.

On the other hand, if they purchased an experience, such as a trip away, concert tickets or dinner with friends, they were happier for longer.

The power of experience

Why does purchasing an experience have a greater impact on our happiness than purchasing material goods? Some reasons could be:

  • They are fleeting and we don’t take them for granted.
  • There is often a delayed gratification between the purchase and an experience.
  • Experiences create memories to reflect on, long after they have passed.
  • We often share experiences with other people. This allows us to develop human connections and bond through shared memories.
  • It's easy to compare our material goods against what others have, and find ourselves lacking, but much harder to do this with an experience.

The gift of giving

There's one way to make sure your material purchases make you feel good - money spent on others can make you happier than money spent on yourself.

So next time you feel like buying yourself a new shirt or a few magazines, try to imagine that 'buzz' that comes with giving someone a gift, or donating to a charity in need. You might just change your mind on what you're about to purchase - or who you're purchasing it for.

The urge to splurge

There will be times when buying something makes your life easier, and makes you that little bit happier.

It’s a good idea to reward yourself once in a while, budget permitting. However, try to limit your splurges and always spend money consciously. After all, you could be happier saving for that dream holiday instead.

Have trouble saving for great experiences? You might want to consider opening a savings account or linking Pay&Save to your &Transaction account - so you can save money every time you spend.

Related Articles

Close up of a person's hands paying for something using a card and EFTPOS machine

Money 101: Money basics to master

How to boost your home loan deposit savings

Woman sitting in car smiling, she's being handed a set of car keys out of focus

Is June really the best time of year to buy a car?

We'd like to use your current location

For a more localised experience please enter your location below...

×

Set your location for a more localised experience.

×