“Buy Experiences not things” is a popular meme, and for good reason. The idea of materialism over experiencing what the world has to offer is a terrible waste. Minimalism is trending and no-one wants to be the hoarder on the block.
But understand that experiences and things are not mutually exclusive and sometimes you should just chill out and run with whatever gets you going.
One thing I promise never to do with Sufficient Fundz is tell you there is only one way to live your life. What tickles you in all the right places is none of my business and this important to understand, especially for those in any position of influence, no matter how small.
We’ve built a business around helping people live the life they desire, but I know from thousands of conversations with clients over the years that telling people how to live is not only fruitless but can actually have a negative impact.
The best financial advisers and life coaches I know always remain partial with these types of ideals. When it comes to experiences and things, do what works for you and the adviser will plug the gaps in a way that enhances this for you.
My thoughts on this great debate are as follows:
The case for experiences
It’s hard to hide my bias here. We are well and truly sold up the river on the case for experiences and I’m sure many of you are as well. Experiences are number one and the stuff our dreams are made of.
Our objectives are heavily experience oriented, and they are broad; from trying something new on the weekend and mixing up our activities, to as much global travel as we can get – we find our eyes are opened by experiencing all that comes with a new destination, finding our way from A to B, and seeing the different ways of life.
Experiences don’t have to relate to travel. They could involve learning a new skill, like cooking or a foreign language. It could be trying your hand at painting or photography, or working towards a fitness challenge like competing in a triathlon.
Note some of the above involve the purchase of things, but they are a means to an end, rather than the goal itself.
The rise of the sharing economy allows the more hardcore on this side of the fence, which we are not, to do away with owning a house, car, bike, boat, instead directing all funds to real life moments. These are definitely interesting times we live in.
The case for things
Friends of ours recently invested in an expensive sound system for their apartment. They have other goals, a mortgage and also love to travel, but being muso’s and spending a lot of time at home, a high quality sound system was just the thing to enhance their lifestyle.
Don’t let the meme screw with your reality.
Tash and I spend 75% of our lives eating, sleeping, living & working in the “thing” that we saved to purchase together, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Don’t hesitate to allocate funds towards things that enhance your quality of life. The only caveat: make sure there’s a purpose and a clear benefit.
For many, working toward your goals can be a big chunk of your time. If, like us, you have some fairly lofty goals, chances are you’ll do better if home is a place you are comfortable, can wind down and enjoy all the things that make you happy. IMHO there’s nothing wrong with that.
Spending funds on material items that enhance your home-life experience – the home itself, a car, a serious mattress to ensure quality shut eye, these are totally cool in my mind. Like I said whatever gets you going, if it makes your life more sufficient.
There’s nothing wrong with putting things over experiences or at least having a good balance.
For the most part, experiences and things go together. Give yourself permission to run with or against the herd, or just dangle your legs either side of the fence for a while. Just make sure you’re doing it for you, no one else.
Some of you might be reading this in total disagreement, which is awesome. Let me have it in the comments below 😉
What side of the fence are you on?