Author Topic: Spending Money On Experiences Will Make You Happier Than Saving Ever Could  (Read 12484 times)

ms

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So many gems in this article but I love the quote.

http://elitedaily.com/life/not-saving-money-pays-off/987508/

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs consists of a five-stage model of basic motivations essential to the human experience. At the peak of this hierarchy is self-actualization, which can be achieved in several ways.

The kind of “behavior leading to self-actualization,” according to Abraham Maslow’s research, involves “trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths” and experiencing life “like a child, with full absorption and concentration.”

What better way to experience life like a child and stray from a safe path than to spend money on a trip to a new place you’ve never been?

What about trying a new restaurant that offers an unusual type of food? Neither of these activities, unfortunately, comes free.

There are other, entirely free ways to achieve self-actualization, including hard work and being responsible, but part of the process of creating a meaningful life is about getting out there and living life. And living life costs money.

Imagine saving all of your money in anticipation of retirement, saving up now to buy a house when you’re married or setting aside money for investments in the stock market or your 401k. These are good things to do, don’t get me wrong.

But if you hyper focus on saving money all the time, when will you do those things that lead you to achieve your full potential as a person?

Kris

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So many gems in this article but I love the quote.

http://elitedaily.com/life/not-saving-money-pays-off/987508/

Quote
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs consists of a five-stage model of basic motivations essential to the human experience. At the peak of this hierarchy is self-actualization, which can be achieved in several ways.

The kind of “behavior leading to self-actualization,” according to Abraham Maslow’s research, involves “trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths” and experiencing life “like a child, with full absorption and concentration.”

What better way to experience life like a child and stray from a safe path than to spend money on a trip to a new place you’ve never been?

What about trying a new restaurant that offers an unusual type of food? Neither of these activities, unfortunately, comes free.

There are other, entirely free ways to achieve self-actualization, including hard work and being responsible, but part of the process of creating a meaningful life is about getting out there and living life. And living life costs money.

Imagine saving all of your money in anticipation of retirement, saving up now to buy a house when you’re married or setting aside money for investments in the stock market or your 401k. These are good things to do, don’t get me wrong.

But if you hyper focus on saving money all the time, when will you do those things that lead you to achieve your full potential as a person?

Right.  Because you have to do one or the other.  They are completely mutually exclusive.

UGH.

Mr Dorothy Dollar

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I hate the whole spend money on experiences. Spending money on things that help you grow as a person fine. But spending money to entertain yourself is no different then buying a video game. Expanding and knowing your limits and who you are is what self-actualization is about. Frivolous service related fees does not necessarily get you there. A free hike might get you closer. Further, saving how some of us do is pushing a limit and a learning experience that money cannot buy. The best experiences in life are not spectator based.

LalsConstant

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What if I am saving to have better experiences later?

merula

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I'm all for experience spending, and not everyone has to be a big saver. If you're not complaining about how broke you are, live your life however you want.

BUT this put me over the edge:

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when the money for my 27th birthday came in from family members

She gets $500 (ish? I don't know exactly how much skydiving costs) from family members WHEN SHE'S NEARLY THIRTY?! "Family members" presumabing not meaning just parents.

infogoon

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What if I am saving to have better experiences later?

That's my question. I'm saving plenty of money now so that I can retire early enough to travel and enjoy it later. The alternative being to shoehorn all of my "new experiences" into the allotted vacation time from my employer because I've still got to show up at the office until I'm 65.

mak1277

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What if I am saving to have better experiences later?

This doesn't make sense to me.  I am a saver, but I would never do something that I considered to be "deprivation" just to save money.  If I want to do something, I do it, even if it costs money.  If my saving for early retirement was "delayed gratification" I would be much less motivated to do it at all.

Ricky

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I'm gonna say I agree with the article, and I'm very frugal. Not to say the saving part shouldn't come first.

It's funny how contrarian people are here. The majority of the forum would agree that traveling is a worthwhile expense, usually equating "traveling" to "experiences".

You can be too frugal.
  • Not spending money on education because you think you know everything and can't see the eventual value it would provide.
  • Not spending money to go out on a date and do something different when the date could turn out to be the most amazing person you've ever met.
  • Not spending money to upgrade your computer when you're actually losing money because it's ancient.
  • Not spending money on a book that isn't available for free that would give you valuable information.
You get the idea...

LalsConstant

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What if I am saving to have better experiences later?

This doesn't make sense to me.  I am a saver, but I would never do something that I considered to be "deprivation" just to save money.  If I want to do something, I do it, even if it costs money.  If my saving for early retirement was "delayed gratification" I would be much less motivated to do it at all.

Well to put it differently I have seen what happens to people who do not save/invest.  They tend to have painful experiences later in life compared to those who do.  I'd rather avoid some of those bad experiences.

KodeBlue

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I'll keep saving. Financial ruin is something I'd rather not 'experience".

Bob W

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I saw a Ted Talk about experiences.  Apparently memories are not worth much.   A trip to Disney might be good for the week and then about 20 minutes per year when looking at the photos once per year after that.

Also, what is the point of this?  Would you go to a different restaurant everyday and go to a different theme park every week to achieve self actualization?   I'm pretty sure that the "self" part indicates not being dependent upon external stimuli. 

And last I checked my 7 year son is not into new experiences  --  That is just flat out wrong.   He does not enjoy trying new foods,  meeting strangers or going to unfamiliar places.   So if you were to mimic children in your experience of the world as the article suggests,  you would repeat experiences over and over again.  (in my son's case you would endlessly watch Minecraft videos on YouTube while eating chicken nuggets)

Lastly,  Maslow never had a pyramid.  That was a construct of textbook companies. 

Luck12

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I'm another that agrees with the article.  I do think these things are subjective though.  Some people may not enjoy traveling to new places and trying new things.  Personally, I don't understand these people. 

Mustachiansim shouldn't be about abnegation and asceticism.   It should be about living life to the fullest, albeit in a financially responsible and efficient way.  There's certainly nothing wrong with dropping some $$ on travel for example if that is something you truly value.   I'm going on 4 hiking trips (2 to foreign countries) this year and certainly that will cost some $$$ (subsidized by credit card and checking account bonuses to some extent) but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. 

Aside from that, the article did say there's nothing wrong with saving money. 

Luck12

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I hate the whole spend money on experiences. Spending money on things that help you grow as a person fine. But spending money to entertain yourself is no different then buying a video game. Expanding and knowing your limits and who you are is what self-actualization is about. Frivolous service related fees does not necessarily get you there. A free hike might get you closer. Further, saving how some of us do is pushing a limit and a learning experience that money cannot buy. The best experiences in life are not spectator based.

Ok, so explain to me how say 2 weeks of hiking in the Andes doesn't cost some $$$?   Explain to me how that's a "spectator experience"?   How does that not help you grow as a a person ?   

kite

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^^^
If the TED Talk was Khaneman's, that was a real gem.

At the risk of sounding like an ad hominem critique of the writer, she really hasn't experienced enough life to give this kind of advice.  Damage from a misspent youth shows up decades later,  when it's too late to take much corrective action. This is true for the piggy bank, your skin and your liver. 

scrubbyfish

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Appreciate this conversation.

A partner and I went to a relationship workshop, which emphasized going not for stuff but for an "experience". I was (still am) convinced they were talking about internal experience: feelings of love, connection, etc, that arise from (a) self-awareness via meditation, etc, and (b) opening deeply with another human being. The partner hopped out of that workshop thrilled at the presentation. He subsequently spent $360,000 on "the experience" of owning a boat, "the experience" of across-the-world travel, and "the experience" of owning and building on land.

This difference in interpretations has intrigued me for the two years since, the vastly different ideas of what "experience" is. At the risk of pissing people off by bringing up Myers-Briggs Typing here, right now I believe that as an INFJ I have such a trippy awareness of my internal, that I needn't spend a penny to "experience" while the ISTP or ISFP partner had far less of that and maybe did need to pay cash for more sensory input. I'm still confident he could experience more internally and relationally instead, but I was interested in how much he relied on spending to feel.

I've travelled a LOT, and certainly grew from my observations, activities (joining in projects), and relationships, but even a year in Europe cost me about $1500 all told -mostly the flight- because I wasn't spending on sensory input, only on relationship (which is generally $0), etc.

Cookie78

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There is certainly a balance to be found, and I'm sure the proper balance varies for different people based on risk tolerance and desire for 'experiences'. I used to spend much more on travel (and other experiences) and save less, now my balance has shifted, and after Peru next month I am going to try to drastically limit money spent on 'experiences' so that I can save more... ultimately so that I can have other experiences in the future. Neither of these things is right or wrong, it's just based on personal preference.

Also 'experiences' is a vague word. I'm positive that my many travels when I was in my 20s certainly played a huge part to shape who I am. I don't think 'a week at Disneyland' would have had the same impact. Maybe for a young kid it does, I can't judge, I've never been. Also, like others have said, you can get plenty of experiences for free, or for low cost. What one views as 'experience' varies widely.

As for Peru, I think it will be a valuable experience, and worth the cost to bump FI back another couple weeks. 1 week of Spanish lessons and a home stay with a family in Cuzco, 4 days with 9 friends and family members in Cuzco, then hiking the Inca Trail together. Learning Spanish is something that's on my FI list. Experiencing a different culture, meeting new people, spending quality time with family and friends, and challenging myself physically are all positive experiences for me, maybe not for others.

Giro

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Everyone is absolutely different in what they may value.  I like to travel but not love.  I hate airplanes.  I hate being that close to that many people.  I enjoy different cultures (especially the food).  I enjoy going to local international restaurants almost as much as I enjoy going to the countries and eating there.  It's a similar experience for me and it's a lot cheaper and I don't have to get on an airplane or ride in a car for long period of time.

I LOVE driving fast little two-seater cars.  A lot of people on this board do not enjoy that and prefer to drive little econo cars instead.  To each his own.  I'm not selling my little sports car.  I'm going to drive it and sing "weeeee" as I hit the gas pedal.  I text my husband all the time from that car and tell him how much I love that damn thing.  I'll probably buy a Porsche 911 turbo in the near future.  It's completely anti-mustachian but I love the hell out of that car and I will enjoy every mile I put on it.






sirdoug007

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I didn't know you could just throw dollars around and achieve self-actualization.  And they take credit!  Fantastic! 

Deep thinking and internal reflection is for suckers without a Platinum card!

GreenPen

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Can someone please tell me what it even means to spend money on "experiences"? Or more specifically, when do you ever spend money without getting an "experience"?

When the author buys a t-shirt, she gets the experience of wearing those clothes.
If you buy a new car, you get the experience of driving around.
If you buy a plane ticket, you get the experience of traveling to some place new.

MgoSam

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Can someone please tell me what it even means to spend money on "experiences"? Or more specifically, when do you ever spend money without getting an "experience"?


I suspect what they might mean is that any poor sucker can pay for something, but if someone has to do something than it is an "experience." You can get a beautifully organized tour of Europe by paying an operator, but an "experience," would be to buy a eurail pass and stay in hostels. I think this is what they are trying to say.

merula

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Can someone please tell me what it even means to spend money on "experiences"? Or more specifically, when do you ever spend money without getting an "experience"?


I suspect what they might mean is that any poor sucker can pay for something, but if someone has to do something than it is an "experience." You can get a beautifully organized tour of Europe by paying an operator, but an "experience," would be to buy a eurail pass and stay in hostels. I think this is what they are trying to say.

The studies on experience spending are typically talking about spending that doesn't have a physical product. So both the organized European tour and the eurail pass/hostel would be experiential. A map of Europe to hang on the wall or a copy of Ticket to Ride - Europe would not be.

scrubbyfish

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Can someone please tell me what it even means to spend money on "experiences"? Or more specifically, when do you ever spend money without getting an "experience"?

When the author buys a t-shirt, she gets the experience of wearing those clothes.
If you buy a new car, you get the experience of driving around.
If you buy a plane ticket, you get the experience of traveling to some place new.

Yep. If we're alive and breathing, I don't know how we can avoid "experiencing". If I buy a shirt, I'm experiencing a transaction. If I put it on, I'm experiencing the sensation of a 60/40 cotton/rayon blend against my skin.

The relationship workshop I referred to was trying to get at that, urging us to "skip the middle man", essentially. If we're considering spending $300,000 on land, what is the internal experience we're actually, ultimately gunning for? Often, people went down all the layers and found they wanted to feel a sense of "safety" or "excitement" or "being known". The facilitators were urging us to just go straight for those feelings -via meditation and via relating with nature and with other humans- and not bother spending $10 or $300,000 on an intermediary step to get there. I'm a fan!

Sure, sometimes we might pay $10 or $5000 to get from Point A to Point B to relate with a specific aspect of nature or with specific humans, but I think a lot of people are erroneously translating "focus on experience" as "spend unlimited money pursuing activities", which in a sense can be just one more version of "stuff".

Khaetra

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Can someone please tell me what it even means to spend money on "experiences"? Or more specifically, when do you ever spend money without getting an "experience"?

When the author buys a t-shirt, she gets the experience of wearing those clothes.
If you buy a new car, you get the experience of driving around.
If you buy a plane ticket, you get the experience of traveling to some place new.

I don't equate buying a shirt with a pleasurable experience, mostly because I hate to shop :).  To give you a reasonable answer though, I spend money on travel to have experiences which I can't get at home.  Sometime before I get too old, I would love to go and learn skiing.  I would have to travel to do that, since I live in Florida.  I would be learning something new and I would get to experience gliding (or mostly falling) across snow.  To me, that's a worthwhile expense.

Kaspian

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I agree with the experiences part, but the money part is total bullshit.  Money and many experiences (e.g., travel tickets or having time free from work to do something) go hand in hand.  There's no way in hell I could sit on a café patio in Paris watching the world go by and enjoy it if I knew that I was adding to $2K debt or something like that.  Being liberated from money woes is a prerequisite for me to enjoy an experience I'm spending on.  The people who don't think about money and go experience crazy are the ones we constantly see whining and moaning.  Their heads are all fucked up with cash and debt blackness.  ...I also dig that new experiences aren't for all people.  What a boring species we would be if everyone valued the exact same things.

AJ

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Some people may not enjoy traveling to new places and trying new things.  Personally, I don't understand these people.

I am one of these people, perhaps I can help you understand. To me, travel never feels like a "new experience" - it's just the same experience over and over: Get in some sort of constricting vehicle, spend hours of my life and many gallons of fuel in said vehicle, arrive at destination exhausted from travel, spend a week or two trying to see every attraction I've seen online, pose for the same picture over and over in front of said attractions, repeat the vehicle thing in reverse to get home. We could slow down, but then we'd also see a lot less (less memories for later). It's not all bad, but I definitely wouldn't characterize it as "trying new things".

I am much more interested in new ideas. My life is permanently enriched when I learn something I didn't know before, or gain an understanding of a perspective I didn't understand before. Reading books is unmatched as an activity for learning, and meeting new people (for more than just a week or two) is the best way I've found to gain new perspectives. Both of these things are free or nearly so. The library has almost every book I could want, and the cost of good conversation is a cup of coffee or a pint of beer. If I never left my hometown, but had unlimited access to books and good conversation, I would want for nothing.

If I could slow-travel, spending many months in a single location, then perhaps travel could be a viable tool for self-actualization. But I've never been able to spend more than 3 weeks in one place, so I wouldn't know. Slow-travel may be something we try in FIRE.

scrubbyfish

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WOW, AJ! You just perfectly described myself to me, things I hadn't managed to articulate. Wild.

To the above, all of which is true for me, I will add:
-the first time I travelled in each of a car, a plane, etc, was fun (new) to me; once I've done something, I'm satisfied
-I can't be bothered to travel anymore, but I still LOVE to relocate regularly (immerse deeply for long periods with new people/relationships/ideas)
-when I travelled to NZ last year, I arrived and thought, "Wait, we spent 22 hours to get somewhere that's a combo of [two places I'd lived]?" Now, I LOVED our time in NZ, but that was because of the (free!) relationships -conversations, exchanges of ideas, learning the nuances of a specific family. I also loved being in a glow worm cave, loved sliding the mud flats, and loved swimming in the warm ocean (as I'd done in other places), but the only thing that filled my heart and stayed there was the relationships with the people we were there to see.

scrubbyfish

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You can get a beautifully organized tour of Europe by paying an operator, but an "experience," would be to buy a eurail pass and stay in hostels. I think this is what they are trying to say.

I agree that this is how they're marketed. But my perspective would be:

The beautifully organized tour's experience would be sightseeing, developing relationships over the duration of the tour,, and deep relaxation (not having to think, carry stuff around, etc). If I determine that, ultimately, relaxation is the (internal) experience I'm actually hoping for, I can choose this tour or I can choose any other cheap way to experience deep relaxation (massage, staycation, quitting my job, etc), some which may last much longer.

The train pass + hostel experience would be sightseeing, meeting lots of new people for brief periods, total independence/solitude, thinking on my feet, the excitement of figuring out exchange rates, the invigoration of choosing my next stop, the self-confidence that builds upon navigating such a trip, etc. If I ultimately determine that what I'm really after is the (internal) experience of excitement, invigoration, self-confidence, etc, I might well be able to find a much cheaper route to each of those.

I'm giddy about experience, but primarily internal experience. I wish articles that urge "experience" would define whether they mean internal or external, emotional or physical, psychological or physical. The former is cheap; the latter can range from cheap to expensive. But I see so many people justifying more spending than necessary because of this word.

retireatbirth

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I agree with spending money on experiences, but I'm first going to spend the vast majority of my money on FREEDOM. Once I buy my freedom, I'll focus more on experiences. I'll probably never focus on "stuff".

Cookie78

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I agree with spending money on experiences, but I'm first going to spend the vast majority of my money on FREEDOM. Once I buy my freedom, I'll focus more on experiences. I'll probably never focus on "stuff".

+1

yorkville

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Is it possible to get the "experience" without the travel? For example, instead of going to France for a tour of two weeks, I can stay in my home city, take classes to improve my French, read about French history, create classic French dishes in my home kitchen. I would say that's probably a richer experience.

Eric

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I didn't know you could just throw dollars around and achieve self-actualization.  And they take credit!  Fantastic! 

Deep thinking and internal reflection is for suckers without a Platinum card!

Hahaha!  I'm sure Maslow wouldn't be regarded as such a pioneer if they had CCs back then.  It's just so simple!

Khaetra

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Is it possible to get the "experience" without the travel? For example, instead of going to France for a tour of two weeks, I can stay in my home city, take classes to improve my French, read about French history, create classic French dishes in my home kitchen. I would say that's probably a richer experience.

To some folks it might be enough but I know for me it wouldn't be and travel is one of the big reasons I retired early.  Some people like to travel, some see it as a huge waste of money.  Travel is in my blood :).

Emilyngh

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I am one of these people, perhaps I can help you understand. To me, travel never feels like a "new experience" - it's just the same experience over and over: Get in some sort of constricting vehicle, spend hours of my life and many gallons of fuel in said vehicle, arrive at destination exhausted from travel, spend a week or two trying to see every attraction I've seen online, pose for the same picture over and over in front of said attractions, repeat the vehicle thing in reverse to get home. We could slow down, but then we'd also see a lot less (less memories for later). It's not all bad, but I definitely wouldn't characterize it as "trying new things".
would want for nothing.


Yup.   Me too.   I've traveled a lot, and right now, I feel over it.  Maybe one day I'll want to travel more.   Or maybe I won't.

Right now, the new experience I crave is a move.   I daydream about downsizing our home to a smaller one that we fix up in the near future.   And in the far future, maybe moving to another country.   These would totally bring with them many, many completely new experiences, much more so than taking trips.   And they would both save us money overall (at least how we'd execute them), not cost us.   I find the author's perspective on "new experiences" pretty limited.

justajane

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Great thread. For reasons similar to those mentioned above, I have never understood the experience/things dichotomy either. Things oftentimes create experiences, even if it is in ways that I can't understand or relate to.

This might be coming from the fact that I traveled and lived abroad a lot already in my twenties, but I don't feel the need to travel across the world to have meaningful moments anymore. So much about life and meaning rests in relationships, and the most important ones I have at the moment are where I live currently.

Having children can be great in this respect, because you can see the world through their eyes and relearn how to experience the joy in the ordinary. I'm not saying children are the only way to rediscover this, but they do help. For me, the crux of MMM's message is about finding happiness in nature and the ordinary cycles of life. I don't think evolving is good if it means that we can no longer find immense pleasure in a simple cup of tea or coffee (or whatever drink you like) that we prepare ourselves.

Travel can just become another form of lifestyle inflation. There's also the practical issue of it just being unpleasant these days. Being pack in like sardines in a plane, security checks, etc. I'm glad I did a lot of it when I was young and less annoyed by such things.

Having said all this, some of my most memorable moments have been abroad. If I'm ever sad or struggling and want to go to my "happy place", I will imagine being on a cliff overlooking the sea in Wales or in the countryside of Germany, etc. Perhaps I need to make more of an effort to experience the beauty of my own neck of the world more often. That's one of the perks of travel - that it takes you outside of the routine and forces you to see new things. I'm also an historian, so I appreciate the first hand knowledge of the past that traveling to new places can bring.

I am much more interested in new ideas. My life is permanently enriched when I learn something I didn't know before, or gain an understanding of a perspective I didn't understand before. Reading books is unmatched as an activity for learning, and meeting new people (for more than just a week or two) is the best way I've found to gain new perspectives. Both of these things are free or nearly so. The library has almost every book I could want, and the cost of good conversation is a cup of coffee or a pint of beer. If I never left my hometown, but had unlimited access to books and good conversation, I would want for nothing.

You sound like someone who I could be friends with in real life :). Ultimately, knowledge is what excites me, and the best way to do this is through reading. To be a great thinker or to understand humanity, you don't have to travel. For instance, Immanuel Kant never left the province or even the city in which he lived; yet, he was still able to write things that changed philosophy. He was able to formulate ideas that resonate even today. I've never been to Russia, but I feel like I understand the history and culture of the place by reading loads of Russian literature. Reading can unlock worlds not only in the present but also enable you to time travel and learn about past worlds that don't exist anymore. It's the best thing ever. Even though I know you don't technically need eyes to read, I would rather lose my legs than my ability to read books.

sw1tch

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I agree with spending money on experiences, but I'm first going to spend the vast majority of my money on FREEDOM. Once I buy my freedom, I'll focus more on experiences. I'll probably never focus on "stuff".

Why is spending money on financial freedom NOT considered an experience in and of itself?  Learning to save, learning to invest, delaying gratification, etc add a lot of character.  Isn't that what experiences are all about?

Pooplips

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I'll keep saving. Financial ruin is something I'd rather not 'experience".

+1

FIPurpose

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A big problem I've really noticed is that I have no time for big experiences. I'm busy keeping a fulltime job and have 4 weeks of vacation a year. I'd love to go to Europe for a month, but it's not feasible while I'm tied to a job. Now this hasn't completely stopped all experiences. I'm still doing many things this year that I have and will enjoy immensely.

Trip to Canada for a week - $1500 (Victoria and the rest of the island. Other than hotel, the boat ride is about 15% of that)
Ancient Greek courses 1-3: $1500 (Prepping to get a PhD in Greek when I'm FI)
Play in local community band - Nothing
Hiking local trails, mountains: $50

Of course there will also be the mandatory flight back to my parents for Christmas. But I have a full schedule of 'experiences' for about 2.5% of my gross income.

Kaspian

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You can get a beautifully organized tour of Europe by paying an operator, but an "experience," would be to buy a eurail pass and stay in hostels. I think this is what they are trying to say.

I agree that this is how they're marketed. But my perspective would be:

The beautifully organized tour's experience would be sightseeing, developing relationships over the duration of the tour,, and deep relaxation (not having to think, carry stuff around, etc). If I determine that, ultimately, relaxation is the (internal) experience I'm actually hoping for, I can choose this tour or I can choose any other cheap way to experience deep relaxation (massage, staycation, quitting my job, etc), some which may last much longer.

Neither of these for me.  I show up somewhere, grab a few brochures at the airport, don't rush, settle into a neighbourhood, eat/drink on outdoor cafes, casually stroll around in the afternoons.  No rushing to see all the major sights, or sleeping in some bunkbed with stink-ass strangers.  It's gonzo travel.  You travel as though you were a local with a day off.  The best part is, because it's not hectic or scheduled or anything people remember me years later.  I usually go over for nine or ten days and only visit 2 cities usually.  (3 tops!)  Some people would think this is a waste, but I find it amazing.   It's all very Tao.


Here's what NOT TO do:

"Self-employed traveller, 35, en route to repaying $25,000 credit card debt"
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/home-cents/self-employed-traveller-tackling-25000-debt-load-one-month-at-at-ime/article23648017/?cmpid=rss1

"The 35-year-old Toronto woman knowingly went into debt to travel. “I figured when I’m older, I’ll buckle down,” she said."

:-(

Mississippi Mudstache

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Here's what NOT TO do:

"Self-employed traveller, 35, en route to repaying $25,000 credit card debt"
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/home-cents/self-employed-traveller-tackling-25000-debt-load-one-month-at-at-ime/article23648017/?cmpid=rss1

"The 35-year-old Toronto woman knowingly went into debt to travel. “I figured when I’m older, I’ll buckle down,” she said."

:-(

Sad, but hardly worse than some of the comparable debts that people rack up for college. If I had to choose between $25,000 of debt from travelling the world or attending a year of college, I'd choose the former. Luckily, I never had to make that choice.

scrubbyfish

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Neither of these for me.

Neither for me, either. (I only relocate for longterm immersion: eating with local residents, participating in local projects, developing close friendships, etc.)

But my point was more about the internal vs sensory/external experience. I go straight for the internal (relaxation, invigoration, etc), while many here seem to be talking about the sensory/external. I think it's worth distinguishing between the two, and spending on whichever is our actual goal.

GreenPen

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Here's what NOT TO do:

"Self-employed traveller, 35, en route to repaying $25,000 credit card debt"
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/home-cents/self-employed-traveller-tackling-25000-debt-load-one-month-at-at-ime/article23648017/?cmpid=rss1

"The 35-year-old Toronto woman knowingly went into debt to travel. “I figured when I’m older, I’ll buckle down,” she said."

:-(

Sad, but hardly worse than some of the comparable debts that people rack up for college. If I had to choose between $25,000 of debt from travelling the world or attending a year of college, I'd choose the former. Luckily, I never had to make that choice.

Another way to avoid the decision between college and travel is to study at a European university -- and preferably one with cheap/free tuition. I spent a semester abroad, and the German government covered my flight, tuition, and some living expenses. Saved two birds with one stone.

Mr Dorothy Dollar

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I hate the whole spend money on experiences. Spending money on things that help you grow as a person fine. But spending money to entertain yourself is no different then buying a video game. Expanding and knowing your limits and who you are is what self-actualization is about. Frivolous service related fees does not necessarily get you there. A free hike might get you closer. Further, saving how some of us do is pushing a limit and a learning experience that money cannot buy. The best experiences in life are not spectator based.

Ok, so explain to me how say 2 weeks of hiking in the Andes doesn't cost some $$$?   Explain to me how that's a "spectator experience"?   How does that not help you grow as a a person ?

It appears you agree with my statements even if you do not realize it. Yes, it cost money to hike. And No, it is not a spectator experience. And Yes, getting in touch with nature and seeing new things may help you grow as a person. But hiking in the Andes is the exact type of experience I was stating that was okay. I was saying that experiences purely for entertainment purposes (sporting tickets, pop music concerts, laying on a beach for a week, strip club) are not superior to physical goods that may bring entertainment (video game, DVD, several types of hobbies).  At least with a physical good when you are done with it you may liquidate the good.

TheBuddha

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Is this why the word "experience" is everywhere now? Why in radio commercials I hear about a car-buying "experience" instead of buying a car? It makes me want to have a strangle-whoever-wrote-the-ad-copy experience.

infogoon

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Is this why the word "experience" is everywhere now? Why in radio commercials I hear about a car-buying "experience" instead of buying a car? It makes me want to have a strangle-whoever-wrote-the-ad-copy experience.

"System", too. I needed my roof replaced a couple years ago. Roofers now install "roofing systems".