“So just where does happiness reside for consumers? Scholars and researchers haven’t determined whether Armani will put a bigger smile on your face than Dolce & Gabbana. But they 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.”
Stephani Rosenbloom, a reporter for the New York Times, explored this issue in an excellent article that appeared in the August 7th issue. You can read the whole article here.