Some weeks ago I stumbled upon this pretty interesting article on Forbes, which made me reflect about one question for days:
Do material things really make us happy?
For all those who asked me how come I still have no expensive designer bag even though I blog about fashion and probably could afford it, keep reading if you want the answer :).
Coincidentally, at the same time I started thinking about the question of happiness and material things, the same question arose in our group chat as Kaja bought something that was on her wish list for a long time. She asked us: “Guys, do you know this situation when you buy something you wanted for such a long time and as soon as you got it, it was like all the same? Do I have a problem?”.
No, my dear. You don’t have a problem. Actually, I guess that everyone of us knows situations like these quite well. It just seems that material things make us happy only for a short period of time.
I mean, just think of an expensive object you bought yourself some time ago. Does this thought evoke a feeling of happines deep within you? Let me guess… It doesn’t. This may be due to the fact that we get used to things pretty quickly and don’t find them interesting any more. Now try to think of a certain trip or experience you made? Does this memory evoke hapinnes within you? In my case it really does. No matter if it’s a trip, a good dinner or just a stroll I took with a beloved person that will stay in my mind forever. It’s mostly about the little things that remind us of how beautiful life really is.
But isn’t it odd that tangible things we look at very day make us less happy than the ones that eventually only last in our memories?
This very article I read gets to the heart of it. Material things don’t make us happy for the following reasons:
- We get used to things pretty quickly
- We always want more and more and better and better
- We always compare ourselves to others
Last year I decided to start saving money for a certain bag I wanted to buy. And I really managed to save enough money to afford it. However, thank God I read this and many other articles on materialism and minimalism and started to reflect a lot about these topics, which made me change my mind and instead of buying the bag I decided to invest the money for a trip to New York City with my dear Timo. At some point I asked myself:
Do I really want to spend the money, I worked so hard for, on one tiny bag?
No, I don’t! Unfortunately I still don’t earn that much to be able to just buy a designer bag without thinking. If this was the case, I would probably buy it. Why not? However, as long as I have to save money for months in order to afford one designer piece, I won’t do it. It just isn’t worth it.
Indeed I know some people who have a pretty remarkable collection of designer pieces, but never set a foot in a country away from Europe – because they rather invest in things than in trips. I really try to understand this, but somehow I can’t. However, as long as the person is happy that way, it’s ok. Just doesn’t work for me. Especially nowadays, when thanks to Instagram trends become stale so quickly I rather invest my money on new memories I will have my whole life instead of one piece of clothing I won’t like in a couple of months anymore.
Now, what’s your opinion on this topic?