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Travel Budgeting

Travel Budgeting: Why You Should Spend More Money On Experiences and Not Things

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).


Travel Budgeting

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

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.

Are you an experience spender or a materialistic spender and why? Do you do much travel budgeting? Drop it in the comments! Be sure to check out my previous article and drop a like on Facebook



  • Nikki

    11th December 2018 at 2:24 pm

    This is so good! I also agree on spending money on experiences vs. things. But I’ll say I have bought new clothes since I was 16, I just don’t go overboard!

    • Never Say Nether

      13th December 2018 at 8:35 am

      Yeah, I do too, just not much and not often because I never have any money as it’s always going on travelling haha! Thanks so much for reading Nikki 🙂

  • Camille

    11th December 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Girl, you are right on! I am a total introvert and I have always cared more about building my home, than on traveling. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am risk-averse and somewhat scared of the unknown. But you are right! It makes far more sense to spend your money on experiences than material possessions. I have learned that now, in my thirties. Thank you for this post! I look forward to following your adventures.

    • Never Say Nether

      13th December 2018 at 8:40 am

      Hey Camille! Well if you prefer to spend your money on your home, than on travel, then that’s good too, as long as it’s making you happy (in the end, that’s all that really matters). But if you can fit an experience or two in, then that would be good too. 😉 Thanks so much for reading!

  • Lori

    11th December 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I agree – life is made more rich by your experiences, not by physical wealth. My husband was going to buy a quite expensive car over the summer, and ended up buying one half as much because that other half “is the cost of an African safari”! Love that he feels the same way I do!

    • Never Say Nether

      13th December 2018 at 8:41 am

      Me and my partner are the exact same haha! Which is one of the main reasons we only have a tiny car now. Rather than upgrade it and pay more in tax and insurance, we work out how many holidays that will get us. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Thanks so much for reading!

  • Kristin

    11th December 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I love the idea of spending money on experiences, not things. My biggest struggle is convincing everyone else that this is a great idea! As my children grow, I am going to continue to push doing over getting. It just makes sense. Things are not important, and things cause stress. Experiences create memories and provide opportunities for interaction and togetherness. I completely agree with your take! Happy travels!

    • Never Say Nether

      13th December 2018 at 9:11 am

      Hiya! I completely agree with what you’re saying. And it’s strange, people don’t like to spend money in bulk on what they think won’t last very long. But then you don’t realise that you probably spend exactly the same on things you don’t use or don’t really want. It all adds up and you don’t really notice! Thanks so much for reading.

  • Nikki

    11th December 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Great post! And no one should judge anyone for how they live as long as it doesn’t affect them – I’d say they are probably just jealous. Good for you – both of you – for realizing at a young age the importance of experiences. As I’ve gotten older we have gotten off the materialistic path and spend way more on experiences and memories.

    • Never Say Nether

      13th December 2018 at 9:38 am

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I don’t think we will change, so I’m excited for all of the adventures I’ll likely have throughout my life. Thanks for reading and happy travels 🙂

  • Kayla Templeton

    11th December 2018 at 10:51 pm

    I love this!! This is something that my husband and I are working on. He is the primary income earner in our house, but we are trying to learn to live with less than so that we can afford more experiences. Especially for our kids! I’m even trying to talk him into “tiny living” so that we can use the money we’re spending on a mortgage, on experiences! Hopefully soon I’ll talk him into it!

    • Never Say Nether

      13th December 2018 at 9:24 am

      This is exactly what I would be like! I think it’s because my parents brought me up in a similar situation and always made sure I was out and about somewhere. I’m so glad they did looking back. Keeping trying and good luck persuading him haha. 😉 Thanks so much for reading!

  • Cristina | SaturdayGift

    12th December 2018 at 12:20 am

    Great post! I love that you share your story about how you spend and budget your money. And I agree that you can’t go wrong with spending money on experiences. I’ve always enjoyed traveling and it never mattered how much I earned I always prioritized putting money aside for traveling, and still do – every month. I have an account I transfer money each month and when the time comes to go on a trip the money is already saved and the vacation truly feels like a vacation when you don’t have to worry about the finances. Thank you again – I really enjoyed reading this post!

    • Never Say Nether

      13th December 2018 at 9:27 am

      I’m the same, even when I was earning practically nothing, I’ve always made sure to prioritise experiences. Luckily each year I get more money to do these things and it just encourages me to go away more often haha! I save that way too, it’s so effective. Thanks so much for reading, glad you liked it!

  • Staying Afloat

    12th December 2018 at 6:42 am

    Couldn’t agree more! Always been firm believers in memory production over material possessions. And all the experiences contribute to the person you are today or will be tomorrow. You are not the things you own. Cheers!

  • Kelly

    8th March 2019 at 4:29 pm

    This is me!!! My home is filled with second-hand everything but we got to take TWO honeymoons after our wedding last summer and that was very, very, very worth not having “nice” furniture. My mom doesn’t get it at all. I’m constantly being lectured about how I should be “saving money for necessities” instead of traveling. Traveling is a necessity. And I still eat something and don’t care what it is as long as I get to explore the world!

    • Never Say Nether

      12th March 2019 at 1:01 am

      Ooooh, how lovely! I would totally do the same – soo much better. People say the same to me too, but ‘things’ just don’t do it for me. I don’t care where they come from or how much it costs, my biggest spend has to go on travel. I’m so glad I’m not the only one, I think it’s a great outlook to have on life. Thanks for reading Kelly!


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