(ii) The ‘Retail therapy helps’ myth.

Q. ‘I love my retail therapy, and without money I couldn’t do it. Therefore, money can make some of us happy.’
Some people who enjoy shopping are afraid that if they stop spending money they will become unhappy. That scares them. The enjoyment they receive from spending their money, though temporary, reinforces their belief that happiness requires money. That twisted concept of money begins to rule their lives.
Some shoppers buy goods and don’t even open the boxes. They waste money, grossly disrespecting the wonderful stuff. Each time they spend they get a little ‘hit’ of happiness, but ultimately that hit is brief and unfulfilling. They want a computer with more pixels, or a better phone. There is always something. And when they do need money for something important, like a toothache, they don’t have it. So they blame their lack of money for their unhappiness, which cements their belief that money brings happiness.

Q. ‘I’ve heard that if we do buy things it’s best to buy experiences rather than objects. Is that true?’
Yep. A good experience beats an acquisition any day. Play games. Join clubs. Do things you haven’t done before. Experiences tend to stay with you, and add to ‘Life’s  tapestry’. They also strengthen the bonds between you and your companions.
Or, spend money on activities which will extend your boundaries and help you grow as a person. Things like music lessons, abseiling, education.
And by extending your boundaries you might gain confidence in yourself, and gain that feeling that whatever happens, you’ll handle it.
 ‘There you go. Abseiling costs money, so money does bring happiness.’
It’s the experience of abseiling which contributes to your core happiness, not the money that paid for it. Not the car which drove you there. Not the equipment.
Money is wonderful stuff, but it’s just a means. By itself it does not, and cannot, contribute to your core happiness. There are plenty of opportunities to grow as a person without the need for money. They’re there, now, waiting for you to grasp them. Look.

Q. ‘The trouble with experiences is that you have nothing to show for it later except photographs. Buy something and you get to keep it.’
Getting to keep it doesn’t mean your happiness with it will be sustained. Possessions become part of the background.

Need to buy a gift for someone? Buy an experience – tickets to a fun park, a go-kart race, a back massage, a horse riding lesson, a badminton game, concert tickets . . .

Mr Bashful, we need a decent standard of living, and money can provide that.
Click here to read why this is a myth.

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