Could a Timeshare Vacation Be the Key to Your Happiness? Really?

“It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch, is basically the idea,” says Elizabeth W. Dunn, an associate professor in the psychology department at the University of British Columbia in an article titled, “But Will It Make You Happy?” that ran this week in the New York Times. Professor Dunn is referring to research by psychologists Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich on the subject of money and happiness.

The article, written by Stephanie Rosebloom, explains, “… that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.”

Remarkably, there is much talk about money’s potential (or lack of) to buy you happiness, but until recently, surprisingly little research. Professor Thomas DeLeire, University of Wisconsin in Madison, recently studied seven categories of consumer consumption. He found that only a few translate to happiness, and these are expenditures for vacations, entertainment, sports, and sporting equipment such as fishing poles or golf clubs. Professor DeLeire equated the happiness of money spent on vacations and entertainment with the happiness boost most people feel when they walk down the aisle, pointing out that a $20,000 increase in spending on leisure is roughly equivalent in happiness factor to the happiness increase experienced when getting married.

And when you consider that $20,000 (or even a lot less) can buy a wonderful timeshare resale and an entire lifetime of vacation accommodations, one has to think that buying timeshare might turn out to be a very “happy” use of your hard earned money.

Follow this link to read the full New York Times article on money, happiness, and vacations.