I read a good article today called "Professor Happiness--The Interview. The professor wrote a book called "Stumbling on Happiness" that I just added to my list. What he says rings true to me:
"Another thing we know from studies is that people tend to take more pleasure in experiences than in things. So if you have "x" amount of dollars to spend on a vacation or a good meal or movies, it will get you more happiness than a durable good or an object. One reason for this is that experiences tend to be shared with other people and objects usually aren't... People think a car will last and that's why it will bring you happiness. But it doesn't. It gets old and decays. But experiences don't. You'll "always have Paris" — and that's exactly what Bogart meant when he said it to Ingrid Bergman. But will you always have a washing machine? No."
He also indirectly talks about the "law of diminishing returns" (a helpful Econ 101 topic) in regards to money. He says, "The data says that with the poor, a little money can buy a lot of happiness. If you're rich, a lot of money can buy you a little more happiness."