A study by psychologists at Cornell offers great wisdom for those of us caught up in hopes of the new and next "thing" to buy. Stephen Messenger at Treehugger describes the study;
It turns out, in this age of consumerism and gadgetry, that all this stuff we buy isn't really making us any happier--in fact, it's kind of bumming us out. According to the latest research, the key to finding happiness is something far more accessible than what product advertisements would like you to believe--simply enough, it's in having new experiences. Whether it be in traveling to new places, taking a hike with some friends, or even participating in some green activism, investing in experiences delivers more bang for your buck than consumer products--which is good news considering that so much of the stuff we buy ends up as waste...
According to the study, experiences are so effective at making us happybecause we truly 'own' them in that they become integrated into our characters and help shape our personalities. Material goods, on the other hand, can really only be 'possessed' and rarely become a part of us in any meaningful way. Also, things we buy are subject to material degradation and devaluation, not to mention a gradual lessening in our appreciation for them. In contrast, experiences are transformed into memories, and even bad ones can be appreciated later on down the line.
Our experience going to Thailand two years ago comes to mind as a great example of this in our lives So instead of lusting after the IPad, start planning the next adventure.