Your Budget and Cruising
We all know that today's cruise fares offer amazing vacation value, but is a cruise an acceptable purchase for your personal budget?
It is not my place to tell you how to spend your money, but I can tell you that studies show most people find more personal satisfaction in experiences than they do in material possessions.
Especially as we mature, we find that a lifetime of acquiring "things" to fill our homes gets a bit redundant, but a lifetime of great personal experiences, such as cruises to wonderful destinations, creates something more valuable than possessions; it creates memories.
So, what is the big deal about a memory? A truly unique and satisfying memory will last you for the rest of your life, according to studies. While many material purchases lead to limited to very little happiness.
Do you know anyone who just likes to shop and will buy a replacement item for something they already have, even if the original works just fine? They usually buy it solely because they got a great deal on it. But they didn't need a new one, they were just honing their skills as a good shopper.
Or there are people who buy things because they think they want or need them, but the items end up just taking up space. These are usually things like collectibles, treadmills, kitchen appliances, bandsaws or surfboards for anyone over 50.
Studies show that people who shop just for the buying experience do not register very high on the happiness scale. But people who spend money on experiences score much higher.
Travel, one of the most highly rated experiences, can create the kind of good memories that last a lifetime. Hopefully, when you take your last breath your mind will be on something great that happened in your lifetime, and your last thought won't be about anything sitting in your garage.
A study* from the American Psychology Association by professors from U. of Boulder and Cornell. (Both are top-rated hospitality industry schools) says "for a variety of reasons, experiential purchases make people happier than material purchases."
"Respondents asked to evaluate an experiential purchase indicated that it made them happier than did those asked
to evaluate a material purchase. Respondents also indicated that experiential purchases were better financial investments
than material purchases."
"Participants indicated that, compared with material purchases, experiential purchases made them happier, contributed more to their happiness in life, and represented money better spent."
"Respondents were also less inclined to say that the money spent on experiences could have been better spent elsewhere than the money spent on material possessions."
And in the final conclusion of the study...
"Experiences cannot be acquired if they are not available: One cannot ski if there are no slopes, hike if there are no trails, or enjoy the arts if they are not funded. Our research suggests that individuals will live happier lives if they invest in experiences more than material possessions."
"By the same token, communities will have happier citizens if they make available an abundance of experiences to be acquired. Both individuals and communities would thus do well to heed the slogan... "More fun, less stuff!"
* To Do or to Have? That is the Question by Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich.
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