It’s payday. The salary deposit hits your account. You find yourself swiping your card more in a day than your thumb ever does through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined.
The heady rush of instant gratification that accompanies buying new clothes, trendy sneakers and expensive jewellery gives you a quick high—one that is short lived. You are addicted.
This short-lived high only leads to more unhappiness, even anhedonia. There is more to life than acquiring the latest in fashion or technology. Money, like your grandma said, can never buy you happiness.
Happy people find ways to distance themselves from shopping addictions and unnecessary spending. They find ways to create memories. They create experiences. They invest their time and money in making their dreams come true.
Happiness comes on focussing on what brings you joy, not what makes you popular
So you have invested in an iPhone 6. Your colleagues are still using the iPhone 4. Do you think that’s going to matter at the end of your life?
When you get caught up in trends, and make purchases just to keep up with others, you inevitably regret your decisions.
You find that after buying whatever your heart temporarily desired, you realize you would much rather have invested that amount toward an experience, which would have increased your happiness for a more sustained amount of time. A trek deep into the woods with someone you love. A spa day with your close friend. Plane tickets to a country you have never been to before.
We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us in the beginning, but then we adapt to them.
Now, I’m not saying you should never reward a couple of hard weeks at work with a gorgeous new dress or splurge on a few drinks at the new night spot in town, but your larger investments should go toward experiences that create lifelong memories rather than something that may lose its “cool” factor in some time.
Your experiences are a bigger part of you than the things that you own. You can really like your material stuff. You may imagine that a part of your identity is connected to those things, but in reality they remain separate from you. Your Jimmy Choos could initiate a conversation with a new face at a party, but unless you have anything in common, that conversation will not grow into a meaningful relation. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. You become a sum total of your experiences.
Lose your credit card and explore the world around you
By spending more of your money on things that enhance your life — filling you with golden memories and unforgettable adventures — you aren’t just changing the large scale consumerism around you, you are throwing some much-needed positivity and light on the world.
You, as an individual, are an influential member of society, and you have the unique ability to control the fate of our wallets and investments in life.
If you have with your future goals, investments and happiness at the forefront of your mind, you will live a much happier life than the rest of consumers who remain swamped in products and ht “latest arrivals.”
It’s time to stop swiping the cards every time you get paid and start thinking about the memories you could be creating with just a little bit of extra savings and a rough road map in front of you.