Some days, it can feel like the American dream is all about making money and materialism. We look at the matching sofa pillows in our parent’s living room, at their big, clean, well-kept house, and we wonder… is this how we really want our futures to go? Our parents don’t seem satisfied with their beautiful home, the traditional American dream. In fact, they seem bored. Their lives seem to be missing one critical element: life.

The older you get, the more you think that stuff isn’t the best way to spend your money. It feels great, of course, once you first purchase it, but after it’s sat around for a few months, it loses its glow. Spending tons of money on clothes, makeup, cologne, and other cool stuff might be fun, and it might make us more popular…  but at the end of the day, does it really make life any better? Or does it just distract?

If you’re starting to think that, maybe, your life has been too influenced by advertisements, then you’re seriously considering cutting back on the whole stuff thing. Instead, you’re looking for worthwhile experiences. Without further ado, here are four reasons that experiences are better than stuff.

Satisfaction

No one needs to convince you that stuff doesn’t really satisfy. You know it. Instead of buying your hundredth new shirt, you could take that same money and go adopt a dog. Rescuing a little furry life, and gaining a new best friend, is a way better use of your time and money. The satisfaction, too, is infinitely more.

Growth

The stuff in our closets doesn’t make us different people. The experiences we’ve had, however, do. Next time you have some spare cash, take surfing lessons in Waikiki, HI, or volunteer at a local nonprofit. You’ll grow as a person and have a new perspective on the world.

Community

Stuff doesn’t really form relationships. You might bond over a new board game, but you probably won’t make lasting connections because you have a better iphone. People are met through experience, and relationships last longer than stuff. So next time you’re looking for something good to focus on, focus on family and friends. Check out a Kent beer and beverage distributor, and have a party. Meet more friends, and celebrate the ones you already have.

Perspective

In our affluent world, it can be hard to really get perspective on life. We live in a kind of bubble, expecting things to go well, assuming we have some kind of power because we have financial control. Living life more, and buying less stuff can open our eyes to how transient, and unimportant, our little needs are. A trip to a developing country can fill your life with meaningful experiences, and also meaningful perspectives on what it means to be human.