Looking to spend your money in a different way or travel budgeting? I’m not here to tell you that you’re spending your money wrong, because if it’s your money, then you can spend it however you damn well like. Some of us literally pay for food and that’s us done for the month and struggling (if that’s you, I pray your financial situation improves and you can spend your money on something nice for yourself). I’ve been there and thankfully nowadays I have a small disposable income at the end the month.
I think the motivation for this article was really due to my frustrations of getting judged for spending my money on experiences and not material things. I spend my whole life travel budgeting and I don’t spend my money on much else.
Travel Budgeting: Why I Spend ALL My Money on Experiences
Okay, so I’m not materialistic AT ALL. My partner and I don’t earn all that much, which has made me worse. All my money literally goes into travel budgeting. My phone is an old iPhone, which was actually given to me by a friend free of charge. And my laptop is actually a work laptop (not owned by me), as my old one was second-hand from my boyfriend and was so damn ancient that it gave up the ghost.
95% of my wardrobe is Primark, 4% non-Primark gifts and 1%, not Primark. I’ve got some clothes in my wardrobe I’ve had since I was 16 (I’m 24 now) and true story, I’ve never bought a single item of clothing or shoes above the price of £30. I’m a serial bargain hunter and discount code gal. I don’t shop in one supermarket, I shop in 4 just to get everything cheaper. I even have an app that tells me what’s on offer that week in every single week (admittedly I live literally a stone’s throw away from all 4 of them).
My boyfriend and I have a freezer full of chicken on offer and we usually eat the same meal always, mainly because we’re so fussy and busy to cook. Our food budget is crazy low because of this too. We’ve also rented one of the cheapest properties in our area for years now (which is technically expensive, but it saves us a tonne).
I spend my life travel budgeting
Stingy or Just Crazy?
Now I bet you’re thinking ‘Jesus, how can she live so damn stingy?’ Now I tell you that I just bought a Penthouse Suite for 2 nights in the Austrian Alps next month, which amounted to a whole monthly salary (all the rent for the month). Why? Because I value experiences SO much more than anything else in my life, ever. And I get judged for it every time. People either think I’m rich, stupid or both. I think if people truly knew how much disposable income we have every month and what we manage to do with it (SOMEHOW!?), it would generally make people speechless.
I’ve learnt over the years that ‘things’ don’t do anything for my happiness. If you gave me a 100 euro laptop or a 1,000 euro one, I’d still be more than happy with the 100 euro one. The same goes for clothes, food and literally anything else. However, if giving up ‘things’ means I can travel Europe in my little car, stay in luxury hotels and wine and dine a couple of times a year, I’ll pinch those pennies until it really is just being stingy. Can you really be stingy if you still spend all the money every month?
If you’re finding that treating yourself to that new hairdo or a new coat isn’t working for you any more, then I suggest being more of a serial saver. Here are 5 reasons why I would choose experience over items every day of the week:
1. Memories Are Priceless
You really cannot put a price on a memory. That memory is here to stay and whatever experience you chose to spend that money on has only made you happier for the long term. I remember things that we saved for years and years ago now and I always talk about them. Every year we pinch the pennies, with extensive travel budgeting and either travel or stay in a nice hotel to de-stress. We’ve seen and done some amazing things. Ask me about a laptop I bought in 2010 or that expensive watch? I don’t remember and neither will you. The experience may only last a fraction of the time than a experience will, but the memories really do last forever (no matter how cliche that sounds).
I travel budget for holidays, festivals and educational travel
2. You Learn More from Buying Experiences
If you spend money on experiences, chances are some kind of organisation, budgeting and travelling are going to be involved. There’s always some kind of learning that happens and that’s something that you couldn’t possibly get from buying a new wardrobe. For this reason, you become more confident in your abilities to do things.
If this experience involves travelling to a new country, then you will become so much more enriched and cultured by experiencing a completely new way of living. It’s definitely a learning curve.
3. Buying Experiences Builds More Excitement
Chances are if you’re buying an experience, you’re going to have to wait a while to actually do it. When it comes to items, they are easy to buy and just as disposable too. Most clothes and things we buy are impulsively bought because we were drawn in by the ‘SALE’ signs in our favourite shop. Or the famously infamous Black Friday sales, where people buy things they may not even need just because it’s much cheaper.
When you book an experience, there is a build up of excitement and anticipation, once you’re there and doing it it’s just amazing and then when you’re home again, you spend all your time talking about it. Then that feeling lasts for ages.
Travel budgeting may make you happier
4. Experiences Are More Unique to You
Anyone can buy a pair of shoes, but not everyone wants to experience what you personally want to experience. The possibilities are endless and if you spend your money on experiences, they will be so much more unique to you. I love it when I sit down in a group of friends and we talk about what awesome stuff we saved for. Someone would stay in a spa in the mountains, another would go skydiving, another would simply just leave her hometown for the day and experience somewhere new. They are all interesting in their own way. Explore what you love and go and do it!
5. Experiences Always Get Used, Items Don’t
How many times have we all bought something we thought we wanted and it’s just been sat there unused (and sometimes even with the label still on)? Even I am guilty of that. Well with experiences this doesn’t really happen. It’s rare that you will buy a trip somewhere (or something similar) and never go. It’s because more planning and money usually goes into these things, so you always do it.
Material things you tend to save for a rainy day (and even then they may be forgotten). Buying experiences gets your ass in gear and it’s so worth it.
Again, I can’t stress enough that you can spend your money on whatever you like. You earned it, spend it on something that makes you happy. But if you’re finding yourself getting less and less satisfaction out of material things, then do consider switching it up. Oh, and don’t judge us lot who love to blow all our wages on 2-day trips and live off plain pasta for the rest of the month, and we won’t judge you either. Promise. 😉
Yes, I’m probably going to be one of THOSE people who spend thousands and thousands on a wedding, yet goes home to a one-bed house with charity shop furniture. But that’s okay, that’s me all over. Maybe one day I’ll strike it rich and I can do it all. Treat yo self! You deserve it.