Monday, February 11, 2013

Life Experiences vs. Things

We have all heard the phrase, "money can't buy happiness" which is something I do agree with to an extent. I still like to imagine what it must be like to win the lottery and become instantly rich. I might add that my chances of winning said lottery are probably pretty slim since I never play....but anyways...I recently stumbled across, what I considered to be, a little gem of an article discussing how money can make you happy if you spend it the right way. 

I know you must be on the edge of your seat right now just wondering how in the world your piles of riches can in fact make you happy. What, you don't have piles of riches to spend on said happiness? That's okay! You don't need to be rich.

According to the article, instead of spending discretionary income on material possessions spend it on life experiences. Especially life experiences that include others

This seems so obvious that I'm surprised it's not discussed more frequently.

Think about it though. 

How many forgotten Birthday and Christmas gifts are buried in the back of a (desperately needs to be cleaned) closet or drawer? I don't even know but my guess is a lot. 

You know what hasn't been forgotten though? The time my family pulled over on the side of the road to feed the chipmunks on the way to Colorado. When I stayed up all night with my Mom and the rest of the Relay for Life team walking the track. How my Dad taught me to use waxed paper on our metal slide to make it super slippery fast. Playing softball on the Barbie's Dolls team and winning league three years in a row with my stepdad as the coach. Getting kicked out of the water park in Oklahoma City when I was with my cousins and the baseball team that my (now) husband was on. 

All of these are experiences may have cost a little bit of money but I can assure I would have been willing to pay double the price for all the memories and the fun that I have had along the way. 

In order to try to focus my life more around experiences, as opposed to material possessions, I've decided to come up with a list. 

The experiences range from $5 to $5000 on how you can spend your discretionary income to get more joy from life. They are not overly difficult things to do and any of them can be done with a friend, child, sibling or significant other.

Play a fierce game of spoons after you clean up the dinner dishes.
Ride your bike to go get ice cream during the summer and race to eat it before it melts. 
Go out to dinner at a restaurant that you have never tried before and close your eyes to pick the appetizer. 
Volunteer at a local food pantry to help those who may be down on their luck.
Start a book club and have everyone bring a food item to share that is in theme with the book.
Join a local intramural team to keep your love for the game strong.
Plan a cruise to visit the crystal blue waters that you find so beautiful and enjoy the anticipation of the actual trip.
My Husband on one of the beaches we stopped at on our Honeymoon.

Create a list of life experiences you want to have with others in your life:)

What's on your "To do" list of life experiences?

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