How to Make Buying Things More Like Having Experiences
Everyone knows at this point that if you want to maximize happiness, you should spend your money on experiences rather than things. Part of the pleasure is in the anticipation and another part is in the recollection / telling of the story about the experience; plus, there’s the fun of the experience itself, so yeah, even though the planning can be a headache, pay $200 to join your friends for a weekend in the woods instead of upgrading to the iPhone 6. The weekend will make you happier in the long run.
But if you have dropped your current phone into the toilet again and a night spent in a bucket of rice isn’t sufficient to revive it and you need the new one, how can you make the pleasure of the purchase last longer? Can you make experience of buying something more like, well, an experience?
That means making purchasing an experience, which is terrible marketing-speak, but in practical terms might mean buying something on a special occasion or on vacation or while wearing a truly unique hat. Or tying that purchase to subsequent social interaction. Buy this and you can talk about buying it, and people will talk about you because you have it. … it’s really best to plan far in advance. Savoring future consumption for days, weeks, years only makes the experience more valuable. It definitely trumps impulse buying, where that anticipation is completely squandered. (Never impulse-buy anything ever.)
Considering that “no impulse purchases” and “WEAR A TRULY UNIQUE HAT” is excellent garden-variety life advice, I don’t think a person can go wrong here.