Happiness = Experiences, Services & Dreams – Not Stuff

Posted on . Filed under: Trends.

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about a New York Times article I read over the weekend called But Will It Make You Happy?Turns out a lot of other folks have too…even though this article was published last weekend, as of today, it is still #1 as the most emailed article of the week!

Though anchored in the story of a couple who, pre-recession, had their own revelation that too much ‘stuff’ was not only not adding to their happiness, but potentially weighing them down both figuratively and literally (think: $30,000 in debt!!), the article turns broader in scope to reveal that this ‘priority readjustment’ trend might just be sweeping the nation given the current weak job and housing markets. Experts believe that we are evolving from a society of ‘conspicuous consumption’ (ie. buying without regard) to one of ‘calculated consumption,’ and that it may be correlated with increased personal happiness. Spending money on leisure and services typically strengthens social bonds, and they say that anything promoting stronger social bonds, typically makes us feel happier.

TRANSLATION: Spending money on experiences and bigger goals and dreams actually makes us more content than filling our homes with more things because, though the buzz from a new purchase only lasts so long, the sensory experience of reliving our memories is something we tend to think about again and again with pleasure, even after we’ve already had a great time in the moment itself – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

This is great news for users of Deposit a Gift and explains why a cash gift registry, with it’s limitless capacity for creativity whether you’re engaged, pregnant or celebrating another milestone, is growing in popularity for both users and guests. Gift-givers ‘get’ that it can be more fun, practical and memorable to gift you part of your honeymoon or a photo session with your newborn, than another set of towels or a new baby outfit. In fact, it seems the pleasure goes both ways because the feedback we’ve received from gift-givers is that they actually felt more gratified and had more fun picking out a creative and personal gift like one would find on a Babymoon Registry or a New Home Fund Registry, than they would from a regular registry because they felt more included in the recipient’s life and personal story.

Inclusiveness and memories for all = endless happiness. Cheers to that!