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Millennials Are Getting Something Very Right About Money And Happiness

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.

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