James A. Roberts, professor of marketing at Baylor University, has written a rather scary book entitled Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy (AffLnk). According to Roberts, as of 2008 the typical American family had over $10,000 in credit card debt, plus four instalment loans.
Roberts gives study based evidence that people who are less materialistic are much happier. They have more time with their families and friends – and have more close friendships. Try this “test” from the book:
“First, list ten people whom you know well. Next, rate each person as either happy or unhappy. Finally, rate each person as either self-centered or other-oriented. Do you see a pattern? Researchers have: they’ve found that happy people are ten times more likely to be other-oriented than self-centered. This suggests that happiness is a by-product of helping others rather than the result of its pursuit.”
I mention this because it is very relevant to marriage. Being less materialistic will benefit you, your spouse, your marriage, and pretty much everyone around you. Being less “self-oriented” and more “other-oriented” will have the same positive effects.
The bottom line is that things do not mask us happy – not really, not for long enough to matter. Spend your money on experiences with people you care about, because experiences beat possessions. Spend more time on your family, and less time on making money for things.
If you want to get radical - start this with the current Holiday season!
Image Credit: © roland | flickr.com (poster for a play)
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
The Generous Wife
Hot, Holy and Humorous
Keep Making Love This Season ◄ Get out your calendar, check it twice…
Journey to Surrender
Counter-Culture Marriage – Equality and Fairness ◄ Another great post in the counter-culture marriage series.
Counter-Cultural Marriage – Sex is a Very Big Deal ◄ And counter-culture married sex.
You and Your Marriage Are Not an Island ◄ Get help, or give help.
Marriage Missions International
Fig Leaf Conspiracy – Jimmy Evans ◄ Great video, PLEASE take three minutes to watch it.
One Flesh Marriage
2012 Guy’s Gift Guide to Wow your Wife ◄ Gift ideas based on her love language.
Redeeming Marriages with Jack and Janet
We Need A Fresh Start ◄ Deal with your past so it does not dictate your future.
The Romantic Vineyard
Saying Goodbye ◄ If you have ever lost a loved one during the Christmas season this post is for you.
Show 68: Holiday Traditions ◄ Some great discussion of holiday traditions, and not letting them get out of hand.