You may have seen this in the news recently. In an article for the Harvard Business Review, researchers looking at consumer behavior patterns find:
"People who unduly resist self-indulgence suffer from an excessive farsightedness, or hyperopia—the reverse of typical self-control problems. Rather than yielding to temptation, they focus on acquiring necessities and acting responsibly and they see indulgence as wasteful, irresponsible, and even immoral. As a result, these consumers avoid precisely the products and experiences that they most enjoy. Their hyperopia can inhibit consumption in ways that are bad both for their own well-being and for marketers’ bottom lines. We don’t advocate trying to motivate consumers to make ill-considered purchases, of course, but marketers can help customers make appropriately indulgent choices that they’ll appreciate over the long term."
The full article is here.
The misdrawn conclusion is that you should buy that Louis Vuitton bag now and not regret it later. The truth is buried later in the report, in the adage "Nobody on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office." That is, happiness is not about spending large sums of money. It's not about acquiring luxury items. Rather happiness is, as Joseph Campbell used to say, in following your muse. In doing things you find meaningful. About being open to new experiences and having the courage to explore them. That may sometimes require a substantial financial investment. But it need not.