Image via Wikipedia"New studies of consumption and happiness show, for instance, that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo the Joneses. Attached is a NYT article about what makes up really happy."
All the material things make me happy in the short term. It is instant gratification. Buying a nice dress that I don't really need, looking at a bigger house, the concept of a great big screen TV....all gives us that feeling of excitement. That feeling is often mixed with a sense in the pit of our stomachs that this new toy is too expensive or that the money would be more wisely invested in the retirement fund or the kids college fund. I am far from perfect at this; we all chase what we perceive as happiness. However, we can all try to identify what really makes us happy in our souls and channel our energy towards that purpose. Most often we will find that it is not a thing that money can buy. Playing in the backyard with the kids, walking on the beach or even looking at a beautiful photo of the beach, a peaceful afternoon nap, writing a free blog, catching up with an old friend, watching the kids discover something new, are all things that make me blissfully happy.