Women riding bikes

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Spend Money on Experiential Purchases
Research by Leaf Van Boven at the University of Colorado has found that spending money on experiential purchases, such as travel, can pay off with more happiness than material purchases, such as clothing. One possible explanation, according to Van Boven, is that people adapt quickly to new circumstances. Those fancy shoes or great coat might be fun at first, but down the line you get used to them.

Experiences such as golfing, by contrast, can continue to pay out happiness dividends because you can engage in them with friends and reminisce about them later. Perhaps more importantly, experiences (as opposed to material purchases) are resistant to comparison. You likely have an intuitive grasp of how you make mental comparisons when you evaluate life: You contrast your house, your hair and your car with that of your neighbors. While it is easy to see how your Honda Fit stacks up against your neighbor's Lexus, it is less clear how your recent camping trip can be compared to your neighbor's vacation to the Grand Canyon.