Something I realized a few years back was the importance of experiences rather than material objects.
I started thinking about what I was spending my money on and I realized that most material objects would soon lose their appeal and become garbage.
I hate throwing things out and I hate wasting money so I had to think of something better.
Then I realized I rarely ever regretted experiential purchases. Tickets to concerts or trips to other countries. Different educational courses or going out to a movie or a play. These things meant much more to me and stayed in my memory for a lifetime.
That’s when I decided to put most of my money towards experiences rather than material things. Whenever I was attracted to some material item, I would really think about it. I would ask myself if I really needed this item and would I still be using it in 6 months?
Most of the time I realized it was just something that seemed cool at the time but like stuff in the past would be “yesterday’s news” in a short time.
That’s not good for the environment or my wallet so I didn’t buy it. All of a sudden I barely bought anything anymore. Instead I spent most of my money on travel, events, educational items, and other cool things like learning how to sail.
Is this a challenge for you?
Think of it this way… I know people who buy new cars. I’ve seen it over and over in the workplace. Someone buys a brand new shiny car. They’re super happy about the $30,000 purchase and so excited to show everyone. Of course they are! I would be to! They clean it weekly or even daily but after a few months, it’s not a new car anymore. It’s just the vehicle that gets them from point A to point B. Then someone else buys a new vehicle and suddenly they are in the spotlight and your car is somewhat old now. That’s an expensive purchase to make when it only keeps you “high” for a month or less. This is a trap a lot of people find themselves in. Reveling in the sugar high of a new BMW until their friend buys the next model. It’s a never ending battle.
Chris Guillibeau of the Art of Non-Conformity once wrote that the price of an average SUV (say $40,000) is enough to travel to 100 countries. What would you prefer?
Want another challenge? Since Christmas is just around the corner try purchasing experiences for loved ones this year. Forget about the latest gift that advertisers have beamed all over the country. Think of something that you think that person would enjoy. It Could be as simple as a day at the spa or a little more exciting like tickets to a great concert.
Maybe change things up a bit and do something completely different like tickets to a dinner theatre or live comedy. Maybe you could try buying them a course on how to make pottery or learning how to dance. For a loved one, take the both of you to a lake cottage for a weekend or ski the mountains from a ski-in ski-out condo. Maybe you could buy them a car racing course for that car they just bought. 🙂
Try it out and buy an experience for yourself and then give the gift of experience to others.
It’s a memory that will never fade.
I’m really interested in hearing your ideas on “experience” gifts so please comment below on what cool types of gifts are out there and what your aiming to give someone this christmas! Just make sure they don’t read it before the big day! 🙂
If you enjoyed this post, please share it around. Twitter the hell out of it or throw it on facebook. Let’s make this christmas an unforgettable one!