Sunday, April 24, 2011

Buy Some Happiness- Indulge in a modest splurge

When I when went on line today to post, I noticed an artcle written by Katherine Rosman, a Wall Street Journal Finance writer:


http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/112526/dollar-here-dollar-there-so-what-wsj



The author's husband had criticized her need to incorporate a $4.00 latte into her daily commute. My initial reaction was the daily latter could fall into Rubin's suggestion of "Indulge in a modest splurge" (p.174) However, Rosman's husband calculated that she was spending $1000/year on lattes. This moved the latte out of the modest splurge category and into the somewhat pricey passion category.

As I read the article, I realized that in addition to the drink, the whole Starbucks experience was important to the writer. It was, in a minor way, her equivalent of going to the mythical "Cheers" to buy a drink. Entering the Starbucks, being waited on, possibly even that caffeine jolt made up for her grueling morning commute. She wasn't spending money on the item but on the experience.

All the books that I've read about happiness assert that spending money on experiences, not objects, will bring you more happiness. Can little indulgences, like coffee, be viewed as experiences rather than as material consumption? Or will the author ultimately be happier if she put that money aside and invested it monthly in an IRA rather than spend it on a decadent beverage?

Please comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try Dunkin Donuts lattes - they are much more affordable than Starbucks lattes.