I like stuff as much as anybody but nothing beats investing in experiences.
Yesterday my twin 3 year old grandsons and their mom and dad left our home after a 10 day visit. It was a chaotic time, noisy and filled with fun.
These twins are the sons of my husband’s oldest child so technically they are my step-grandsons. I never had any children of my own but am the proud step-mom to my husband’s three children, all grown now with children of their own.
I have to be honest here — I was a little anxious about having a set of twin three year old boys under my roof for 10 days but it turned out to be a blast.
Tiring? Of course. They are so full of energy they never stop!
But seeing the local Zoo, and Aquarium and Botanic Gardens, and even a couple of trips to Costco, all through their eyes was so much fun — and the entire experience was priceless. And I’ll never be able to watch the movie Finding Nemo again without remembering what it was like watching it with these two boys.
Ever since they left we have done nothing but laugh about things these kids said and did. They are very loving little boys, very smart and imaginative, and a joy to be with. And we have created wonderful memories that will last for the rest of our lives.
As a financial planner I have seen the value in clients buying a second home where the family can all gather and vacation together, or them spending their money on a trip for the entire family to Disneyworld or on a cruise. These expenditures are all about experiences. And the delight in my clients’ eyes when they tell me stories of how much they have enjoyed these times tell me just how much these experiences mean to them.
My observations of this delight have all been just that, observations, so here is an article that quotes a 20-year study on this very topic:
Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things, by Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
Start making a list of the things you would like to do, the experiences you would like to have, before it’s too late to partake in them.
And don’t forget to include things that cost nothing or very little. This list should not be just about how you invest your money, but more importantly, how you invest your time.