Spending money on experiences is more gratifying

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If you do not have infinite amounts of money, or even if you do, consider spending on experiences rather than possessions. You are likely to find it more gratifying. What brings a smile to your face—your European vacation ten years ago or the leather couches you recently purchased from La-Z-Boy?

You probably gave up an arm and a leg for both but the trip doesn’t bring regret or make you question your extravagance. Even if it does, chances are you will write it off as the experience of a lifetime. Your dreams too are likely to involve more such holidays rather than the pricey bedroom set you have set your eyes on.

A wise man once said, the holiday is for you… the type of home and possessions you own are more about creating an impression.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow but also one that might guide our spending decisions towards things that really matter.

While there are some people who surround themselves with expensive things because it is a lifestyle choice, most others simply want to make a statement. That’s why you will see gorgeous furniture still wrapped in plastic in some homes. It’s for display not use.

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A friend narrated her visit to a picture-perfect home decorated by an interior designer. The owners followed their guests around making sure there were no blemishes on the white furniture or rugs. What a nerve-wracking experience for both parties.

Granted there are a tiresome few who go on endlessly about their vacations. But given a choice what kind of impression would you rather create—a world traveller or the owner of multi-million dollar home that people feel uncomfortable in.

I’m easily impressed by people’s travel exploits when compared to someone’s humongous television, luxury cars or museum-like home. I secretly covet the luxurious and enriching experience of travel. From my chats with friends and colleagues, I’ve gathered that I’m not alone in my envy of the frequent vacationers. It doesn’t have to be a retirement dream!

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Whether it is being invited for dinner to a friend’s swanky new home or sky diving, what sticks with us is the experience. Our fondest memories include intangible things, like the time we spent with family and friends on a vacation or even picnics in the local park. It warms the heart on the coldest winter days. So, if you are into the nitty-gritty put your money on the one with lasting returns.

Most of us spend our entire lives in pursuit of happiness. Perhaps because our focus is wrong. Possessions, which we tend to accumulated too much of, certainly don’t make the cut. The path to securing them has us both physically and mentally tied up in knots. Sure, the huge house and designer furniture might make us happy, but only for a little bit. Then we aspire to more. I’ve rarely heard of someone being depressed or stressed by a vacation, have you?
We recently did a throw back at a friend’s cottage to our trip to the Atlantic provinces ten years ago. The three families that went remembered it like it was yesterday and it was like we were back on the sandy beaches of PEI. We have achieved a great deal materially and professionally since then but it seemed to pale in comparison.

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A recent article in Forbes on how millennials spend their money had a lesson for me. Granted they were struggling professional and financially but they seem to have one thing right—working to fund travel and experiences not just home and possessions.

However, many baby boomers and those belonging to Gen X continue to accumulate possessions and wealth at the cost of these life-enriching experiences. Only to be disgruntled and burned out by the proverbial rat race we’ve consciously subscribed to.

It’s time to live a little. Plan that dream trip that has been on back burner forever now. Life is short. – CINEWS

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