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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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        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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            Published on November 20, 2018

            The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

            The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

            The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

            Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

            In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

            Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

            Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

            If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

            I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

            It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

            For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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            How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

            Stop manually tracking your spending.

            Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

            When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

            Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

            The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

            Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

            Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

            Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

            If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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            Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

            Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

            1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
            2. Only buy nice things after saving
            3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

            These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

            How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

            Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

            So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

            By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

            This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

            For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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            Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

            A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

            Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

            You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

            What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

            Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

            Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

            During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

            Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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            Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

            Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

            By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

            The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

            Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

            Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

            What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

            Reference

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