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This Is Why You Might Spend Money On Experiences, Not Things

This Is Why You Might Spend Money On Experiences, Not Things

What are the things that you value most? One way to find out is by looking at how you spend your money. You’ve worked hard for your income, and you want to make the most of it. So, what’s really important to you? What are the things that you will cherish, that will always make you smile and will stay with you forever? It is the experiences that will last a lifetime, that you will look back on with joy and appreciation. A tangible purchase may give you a thrill, but consider investing in some memories, instead. Not convinced? Here are some reasons you might want to flip through that entertainment brochure, instead of browsing that product catalog.

Natural Disasters Happen

Life happens. Floods happen. Fires happen. Tornadoes happen. You get the picture. Your life can change in an instant, and a lifetime of accumulation can be lost forever. But your experiences are a permanent part of you. You may lose your photo albums, but the way you felt when you first saw the mountains, the activities you enjoyed on your first cruise, and that sunset you saw over the water in Hawaii — those memories will be with you forever.

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IMG_5643 by Sgarton in morguefile

    Things Go Out of Style, Degrade, Fade, and Disappear

    Do you still have bell-bottoms in your closet? Are your old computers, printers, and CD players still stored in the basement? It seems impossible to keep up with technology or fashion trends — they’re always changing! But your experiences are right here, right now. In fact, you may want to take advantage before you miss something! The rising waters of Venice are not going to recede for you. Old Beijing didn’t wait for you, and neither will the Amazonian rainforests in Brazil. That fantastic new tea shop will close if no one visits, and your favorite drive-in still needs movie-viewers.

    Bristol's Biggest Bike-ride (9)

      Items Change Value

      Though some items do increase in value, there’s no guarantee. Vases can chip, paintings can rip, rugs unravel, and cars lose thousands of dollars in value once you drive them off the lot. But your experiences are priceless. What kind of value can you put on biking your first century ride? What about that time those two dolphins raced alongside your boat, or that proposal you received at Moraine Lake? Do you also suck in your breath when you first see the ocean? After I got my first big job, I immediately treated myself to a Rick Steve’s Tour to Europe — one of the best decisions of my life. Money can’t buy you love, and it can’t buy you that perfect memory either.

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      file1661238517583

        Clutter!

        I don’t think anyone intends to become a hoarder — it starts a little at a time! I want a lifestyle in which I can pack up at a moment’s notice and take an RV across the country! If you’ve ever had to move, you know how cumbersome all of those little knicknacks, holiday decorations, and assorted this-and-thats can become. Forget the stuff — pack up your necessities and head for the coast! And forget those mementos, just take lots of pictures! Digital photos take up space in your computer, not in your house!

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        IMG_5054  Seeman from morguefile

          Shared Experiences

          Your stuff is just yours. Your computer, your car, your clothes, your coffee, your e-mails, your life. Isn’t it better when we share? How about that Cork & Canvas night with your friends? What about a fancy New Year’s Celebration in the city? Will you ever forget that first concert? Or your first time to the theater or the ballet?

          Do you like to be alone on your birthday? How about a group trip to Las Vegas? Or what about a cross-country road trip to see the Corn Palace and the world’s biggest rocking chair? You may not live in a palace, but you and your friends can take a tour of Hearst Castle! Or you can frequent that hole-in-the-wall that you and your friends have been meaning to try. Are you tired of watching your favorite team lose on TV? It’s always a good time at the ball park/court/stadium/rink! And I’d trade gifts for a dinner and game night any day. Create shared memories. They bring you and your loved ones closer together, and they are a great substitution for day-to-day small talk!

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          bang from morguefile

            Change Your Life

            Have you ever heard anyone on their death bed say, “I wish I’d bought that yacht.” Or “If I could have done it all over again, I would have bought that big screen/those diamond earrings?” Life is not about the tangibles. They stay behind when we go, and may be fought over by our descendants! We always want to have loved more, learned more, lived more. The love and memories we leave behind will last. Those unforgettable special experiences — and the hijinks — may be passed on from generation to generation. With every big or little adventure, you create a whole new you. Change your life, change a life! Visit that daughter in another state. Try that sushi restaurant; take your spouse salsa dancing! Take that mission trip and leave with a bigger heart. Live abroad and learn a new language; change your perspective of the world. Or just take a helicopter or balloon ride to overcome your fear of heights and get a whole new view!

            If all the world is a stage, don’t get stuck on the props! Don’t create a mountain of stuff — go out and experience life!

            Featured photo credit: FidlerJan via morguefile.com

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            Last Updated on June 20, 2019

            50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

            50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

            Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

            1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
            2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
            3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
            4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
            5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
            6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
            7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
            8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
            9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
            10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
            11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
            12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
            13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
            14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
            15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
            16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
            17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
            18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
            19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
            20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
            21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
            22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
            23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
            24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
            25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
            26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
            27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
            28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
            29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
            30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
            31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
            32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
            33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
            34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
            35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
            36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
            37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
            38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
            39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
            40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
            41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
            42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
            43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
            44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
            45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
            46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
            47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
            48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
            49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
            50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

            There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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            Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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