Thursday, March 24, 2011

This would include Shamrock Shakes...

Yeah - I know. They aren't really milkshakes. Or even good food. But once a week when I commute to USFR, I whiz through a McD drive-through for a Shamrock Shake.

It turns out I'm spending to maximize my happiness like a serious engineer.
A new exciting paper in the forthcoming Journal of Consumer Psychology makes the case that money should buy us happiness, but most people aren't spending it right. On the edge of psychology and economics, Profs. Daniel Gilbert, Elizabeth Dunn and Timothy Wilson lay out eight principles of spending efficiently, including:

1) Buy more experiences and fewer material objects
2) Buy many small things rather than a few large things
3) Avoid extended warranties and outsized insurance plans 

It's easy to nod and say this is all very well, but the older I get the more logical this sounds. At any rate, we are shifting our consumption patterns gradually to "repeatable joys" (our phrase). We seem to have enough stuff.

With the possible exception of just a few new power tools for my new woodshop greenhouse support structure.

Also, never buy the extended warranty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Someone could even write a book on the topic and build business models around the idea. The Experience Economy by David Brooks.

Here is a link to Harvard Business Review