As a general rule, I am all about experiences over stuff. Stuff wears out, breaks, gets stolen.
But as reported in the Atlantic this week, some material goods actually CAN make you happy. And I’m definitely not going to argue with that. Here are the material things that make my life better …
After nearly two years being guitar-less, I picked one up for $100 secondhand last month. I can’t tell you how much joy it’s bringing me. I’m never going to be much more than a dabbler, but I didn’t realise how much I missed playing.
Unlike my old guitar, it’s not a name brand, though, and for the first time I am finding out first hand what difference that actually makes. (Occasional fret buzz, less than smooth-looking neck/body joint, and prone to paint surface cracks.) But since I’m never going to be a serious muso, it’ll do just fine for now – and possibly for a long time.
Good quality kitchen knife
I can never go back to the days of sawing away at vegetables/meat with the kind of pocket knife that now feels so flimsy I could practically bend it with my bare hands. No siree.
Likewise, I love my stainless steel saucepan. Now I can actually make decent looking hotcakes, among other things!
A reliable car
Not something we’ve had the privilege of experiencing much, alas. Working on changing that.
A decent house
I dream of living in a house that’s properly insulated, warm and dry. And hey, since dreams are free, let’s throw in a bonus heat pump. Still a way off…
I never realized how much it sucks to try to cut things with a crappy knife until I cut with a good quality one. Now I’ll never go back to those cheap-o plastic handle parers.
I’m not sure that adequate shelter is a material thing – in fact, I think it’s more of a need! I do love my kitchen knives and pots/pans that we got for the wedding. They work wonderfully.
A good cooking ware set makes a huge difference. I also value well made luggage that can withstand the abuse of airline staff.
Nice to hear that you’ve been playing the guitar again!
Very true! Though interesting that the ‘material things’ are actually all experience-related. The guitar kind of speaks for itself, but the house and car represent more than just material goods. And the kitchen knife and frying pan are about eating well, surely, rather than the things themselves. I totally agree that these 5 ‘things’ can make you happy, but I still think they’re about experiences! But hey, if you can combine a ‘thing’ with an ‘experience’, so much the better, right?
Interesting thought. You could argue this for basically material things that I can think of though? My husband loves his TV and Xbox and speakers; you could say those are all experience related. Don’t most material goods represent more than what they are inof themselves? Art. Furniture. Smartphone. Clothes. (can, but maybe not always).
there’s a lot of material things that would make me happy…but food, food makes me really happy. I love me some yummy carbs
There’s also the health and safety factor of having good quality knives. Bad knives or dull knives would cause you to put more pressure on the food you are cutting, creating more strain for your wrist, arm and especially your shoulder. You should be able to cut through meat and veggies easily. It’s also important to sharpen and steel your knives from time to time to maintain the edge.
Fun post! Material things influence the experiences we have everyday. Living in a nice house is far better than living in a not so nice one. Somehow, it makes sense. We dream to have the material things that would make us happy. For me, a dream, is expensive. You have to work hard to realize it.
I am always willing to spend a little bit more for good quality kitchen stuff. It’s hard to cook eggs properly when your frying pan is warped!
I agree with a good quality kitchen knife – it’s a nightmare when they don’t cut well. Also, my piano was quite expensive but, for me, it’s worth every penny.
Good quality kitchen supplies are SUCH a must!! A good cooking frying pan was one of the first things I spent most of my first paycheck on, haha 🙂 So worth it!