If you’ve done any reading on money and happiness, you know that one way to be happier pops up again and again: Spend your money on experiences rather than things.
(If this surprises you, take a peek at Dr. Miriam Tatzel’s presentation on how materialism is eroding our happiness.)
The thought behind this is that you get more mileage from a weekend skiing than a new ski hat. You anticipate the trip, make memories during that weekend, and reflect back on it afterwards. For most of us, there’s a lot of happiness to be found in an experience.
Apparently, millennials have gotten the message.
A new survey from event organising company Eventbrite found that 78% of Gen Y respondents would rather spend money on an experience than a thing, and 77% say their best memories come from experiences.
The survey also found that 72% of millennials would like to increase their spending on experiences, and 69% say that their experiences make them feel more connected to their communities, other people, and the world.
In fact, the study points out that it’s not just Gen Y pursuing experiences. Since 1987, the portion of US consumer spending devoted to experiences and events has increased by 70%.
Eventbrite has dubbed this the “experience economy.”
Of course, we should point out the obvious here: Eventbrite is an event organising company telling us that millennials love events.
Still, years of research on money and happiness show a recurring conclusion: Happiness isn’t just reliant on the balance in your bank account. What that money can buy you, however, is much more important.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.