Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

The value of stuff

by : 

IPhone, Beats by Dr. Dre, Louis Vuitton, Xbox, Bentley ... Many people want to buy the newest gadget, the fastest car and the most expensive watch – but what are these things really worth?

For some people, these items give them status. They’re cool because they have a cool car, or they’re better at the newest Xbox game. Lots of people say that buying new things makes them happy. They like having new, pretty, impressive things. The problem is that people don’t stay happy and the feeling you get when you buy something new fades. There’s a new IPhone. You stop liking your car. Your friend had Beats in a different colour and they’re so much nicer! Things get old, outdated and tatty, and someone else always has something better.

So, what can you buy and stay happy with? The research suggests that the best thing to spend your extra money on is doing things like travelling, learning to cook, speaking a language, skiing or surfing. What about going to the theatre, eating at a Michelin star restaurant or climbing a mountain.

In the long term, people are happier with money they spend on activities than on things. You don’t remember what shoes you wore, but you remember running the marathon! When you do new things or things you enjoy, you gain life experience and memories. You can share adventures with people and tell stories. It’s always fun when you meet someone who has done the same thing as you and you can swap stories. You have an instant connection with this person and can have an amazing time comparing the things you’ve done. Even if you don’t enjoy the experience, you can learn something and often a little while later you see the positives of it. At the very least, it’s a story to tell – maybe even a funny one.

So forget about designer clothes and fancy gadgets – a new skill or adventure lasts longer!

Language level: 

Would you rather buy things or do something? What is your favourite life experience so far? What life experience would you like to have in the future? 


bojana13's picture
bojana13 29 August, 2015 - 12:50

I would rather do something,but I would also buy something if it s my friends birthday.And I would love to go to Pares when I grow up,and I would also want to make super cakes ,beeter than in my country.At the end just to say that this blog is realy great and coll.

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Lavender's picture
Lavender 14 June, 2015 - 07:45

I really like this article. Many people want to have most expensive and newest version stuff to gain attention and admiration. Human beings tend to admire the rich and treat them with respect. This makes life is like a race, you compete with people around you for confidence. This could be good, it motivates you to work harder. On the other hand, this could be bad : you only feel happy when you beat someone. That's why all of us are scare of being call 'losers', so we buy luxury goods, use excellent services to prove 'I'm successful in life'. Life is really hard when we are being judged.

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mabregvadze's picture
mabregvadze 22 April, 2015 - 18:39

At first I want tell that It is great blog(The value of stuff). I'd rather do something important to me,what stay with me and be memorable.I want to travel all over the world.It's wonderful to see sightseeings,these are amazing.In my country(in Georgia) are a lot of fantastic and one of the oldest sights in the world.At the end, I want to say It's better spend money on interesting activities, and you'll recieve happiness from your life. :)

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BethanyS's picture
BethanyS 26 April, 2015 - 20:48

Hi Mabregvadze, 

I'm really glad you enjoyed the blog! I want to travel all over the world too. What sights can I see in Georgia? Which places do you want to visit most? 


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