Got a great email from a reader the other day and thought you’d want to chime in :)
As someone who has just made a pretty big decision personally in the “experience” department (though one that actually pays vs the other way around! Haha…) it’s been something a lot on our minds too.
Here’s the note/question:
What up J$! I read an article about 5 things to make you happier – the arts (music/museums/plays), being outdoors, charity/volunteer, cultivate meaningful relationships, and new experiences.
After I said ‘Bye Felicia!’ to debt, I changed my focus to these things. I’ve done some volunteer work, helped raise funds for a St. Jude’s event, donated monthly to them, went to see Wicked (awesome play, def worth going!), and about to go to Hall & Oates concert coming up! haha
Creating new experiences is very interesting topic that I’d like your opinion on. Holly Johnson from Club Thrifty wrote an article about how much she spent on a vacation with her family and it was totally worth it. Kathleen Elkins from Business Insider wrote an article about advice from her mom concerning spending money on experiences.
How do you determine if an experience is worth the cost? Trent Hamm likes to look at cheaper alternatives. What if there’s no alternative? You can’t compare seeing Tupac when he was live versus seeing a hologram of him. It’s not the same. You can’t compare seeing the Taj Mahal in person versus a lego version of it at Legoland. If there is a value…then at what point is it way too much to pay for it?
As in life, I believe there needs to be some balance. Work hard, play hard…. save some money, spend some experiences. I’m just trying to determine the right balance for the cost of an experience. Let me know your thoughts!
First, I love that this is the SECOND TIME Tupac has been brought up on this blog lately, haha… The first time when I found a quote of his bashing Michael Jackson for spending so lavishly ;)
But yes – def. a great question for sure, and of course one we’ll have our own ways of figuring out…
My answer back to him was pretty guessible if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, but I’ll share it anyways just to hit home the point that I very much prefer living while saving money at the same time. Going too hardcore in either direction usually never ends well.
Here’s what I shot back:
I mean, there’s some obvious answers here like if it gets in your way of the priorities or screws up your future or hurts any of your friends or something like that, but if you have all that stuff covered and room to spend $$$ on stuff that brings you so much joy?? I can tell you LOVE experiences so my vote is to just keep soaking them all up as long as the basics are covered as well as saving for the future too. That will look differently to everyone, but why not spend all “extra” money towards what you enjoy the most?
So my answer pretty much comes down to the following set of questions:
- Is the money extra?
- Does it bring you joy?
- Will you regret it later if you do (or don’t)?
- Does it hurt any of your goals?
If the money’s there you could even just *budget it in* so you get rid of the guilt too. Kinda like a monthly bill, only one that’s a lot more fun!
I told him I might share the convo with y’all just to get some more perspectives, and he liked the idea so here we are :) Chime in below!
How do YOU determine whether an experience is worth the cost or not? Do you have any rules in place or $$ caps? Is there something that would throw out ALL reasoning and you’d take up in a heartbeat if you could?
After going back and forth a bit he later shot me a quote that we both agreed sounded pretty fitting. Something to think about going into the weekend/summer!
PS: And if you were wondering about that Hall & Oates concert – “them dudes still got soul,” haha… My parents will be glad to know :)
[Photo by Glen Wright / Tweaked by J$]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!