Conspicuous Consumption.

No, it’s not an EC T-Shirt, but it is a personal favorite from the “Live Simply” collection by Patagonia.

Recently, the New York Times did a story on what was more likely to make a person happy – buying more stuff, or instead, spending your money on a trip, a concert ticket or another experience. Basically, does the acquisition of material goods bring more happiness. Very Interesting read indeed. You can find it here.

Or, if you want the answer in a nutshell, here it is:

(Researchers) have found that our types of purchases, their size and frequency, and even the timing of the spending all affect long-term happiness. One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

“It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn, summing up research by two fellow psychologists, Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich.

… Thomas DeLeire, an associate professor of public affairs, population, health and economics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, recently published research examining nine major categories of consumption. He discovered that the only category to be positively related to happiness was leisure: vacations, entertainment, sports and equipment like golf clubs and fishing poles.

Personally speaking, I can definitely tell you stories from practically every trip or adventure I’ve been on, but I can’t begin to recall half the crap I’ve purchased in just the last couple years. Food for thought.