I would say most people who prefer to buy things do so because things appear to last longer than experiences. For example, a ticket to the theatre comes and goes within two hours, while a new pair of shoes could last for a few years.
Of course I am not saying we should never buy things. You might really need a new pair of shoes. But next time you buy a gift for a loved one or for yourself, it is worth thinking about whether you would be better off buying experiences.
Here are three reasons why you should buy experiences, not things.
1. Experiences last longer than things
When you buy a thing, at the start, you probably look after your purchase very well and put it in its proper place. But, after a while, that fancy thingamabob ends up in the corner of your room, gathering dust and not adding value to your life. So, by buying things we do not necessarily need, we just add to the problem of having to find spaces for things to "live in."
If, on the other hand, you used that money to go to the amusement park with your kids, that memory lasts forever. Your kids will get out of the house and stop staring at the TV. Maybe they'll conquer their fears of scary rides and you will bond as a family.
So, although the first thought is that a thingamabob would technically last longer than a trip to the amusement park, the memories and experiences last longer.
When I am on my deathbed, I will remember the times I spent with my family having experiences. I won't think about my Air Jordans I purchased 30 years ago.
2. Experiences don't have to be expensive
Treasured experiences can be as simple as taking the kids for a bike ride or going to the beach.
Once in a while my wife and I let our son stay up past his bedtime for movie night. He gets to watch the popcorn pop in the microwave and gets to watch the latest release of the Avengers.
Kids don't care if experiences are expensive. Our son was just as happy swimming at my parent's pool, as he was when we were overseas at a pool in a Fiji resort.
3. Experiences are great holiday gifts
During gift-giving seasons such as Christmas, the accumulation of unnecessary stuff often occurs. As a family, decide whether you want to buy each other gifts or save the money you would have spent on gifts and put it toward a family vacation.
For Valentine's Day my wife and I decided not to buy each other Valentine's Day knickknacks. We decided instead to save the money for an afternoon tea. Besides adding a few calories to our bellies from the waffles and ice cream with chocolate sauce, we were able to bond and take a break from the kids.
Having experiences gives you a chance to do something different from your daily routine. It helps you get back to your daily tasks refreshed and rejuvenated.
So, next time you are looking for something to buy, try replacing that something with an experience you will remember forever.
This article was originally published on Peace and Hustle. It has been republished here with permission.
I am a husband and a father to 2 energetic boys and live in sunny Sydney, Australia. I like writing about a wide range of topics from a different perspective, pushing the boundaries of regular thinking and how we can live life with more purpose.