In Happiness is the Only Logical Pursuit Mr. Money Mustache talks about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Mustache talks about how we all have a desire to be happy and that Maslow's conceptual triangle shows in what order we achieve this happiness, because happiness can be achieved in an array of activity to cater to an array of emotions. Maslow's triangle is as follows: Physiological, Safety+Security, Love+Belonging, Esteem, and Self Actualization, from most primal to least, respectively. Mustache explains that consumer items cause us to actually lose happiness in the two most pivotal needs in Maslow's Hierarchy: Physiological and Safety + Security needs. We look for things that take away from a physically healthy life-style, and for things that inadvertently cause our financial security to suffer.Mustache points towards the fact that happiness is about outlook -- making a conscious decision to devote your time, money, and effort towards things that don't depreciate the value of your overall happiness.
This article, though not explicitly stating so, is talking about the philosophy of utilitarian -- the good action is the one that produces the most pleasure, in concern to measuring by way of Physical, Moral, and Intellectual pain and pleasures. Which purchase or choice gives myself and others the most amount of happiness, direct or otherwise by way of appealing to the maximizing of pleasure and minimizing pain.
When concerned with finance, however, we can substitute Physical, Moral, and intellectual pain and pleasure with the measurement of how much we are gaining needs within Maslow's Hierarchy. Mustache conveys his concerns with consumerism in this manner by saying "What about novelty, like you buying an Apple watch or me buying a Nissan Leaf? We can justify it under the guise of “learning” or “streamlining our lives with efficient new apps”, but once again, it helps to check if we are really fixing anything in the pyramid."
Mustache realizes that it is hard to gauge whether something truly will make you happy now or down the road. But, by using Maslow's law, you can assess whether that thing can help satisfy a need. And by satisfying needs, you grant yourself happiness. And, in the end, Happiness is the only thing worth pursuing.