More stuff vs. more experiences: I think the choice is clear


"“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” Dave Ramsey

A reoccurring theme in my family/friends/community is the constant budget battles between buying more “stuff” vs. investing in more experiences, for entertainment and family time. In my experience, more stuff never satisfies. It is just costs money, is more to take care of and more to fix. More experiences, on the other hand, make lifelong memories and many times don’t break the budget because they are cheap or even free. I remember as a young dad paying a ton of money for large Lego sets (stuff) only to have the kids appreciate coloring with dad on the cardboard box they came in (experience) more than playing with the Legos. Does anyone else ever run into this and what do you say to help people get it before they bust their budget?


I’ve had a lot of experiences that definitely aren’t cheap, but as I get older (43), I almost have an aversion to stuff and I’m constantly seeking out new experiences that challenge my comfort level and intellect. Having less stuff frees me to pursue these types of experiences.

The cool thing though about not wanting a bunch of stuff, is that I don’t worry at all about theft. No one can steal my memories from me. :slight_smile:


Regarding stuff: not wanting it is as good as having it. It’s really true.


I love that!


We keep every amazon box so that my son and I (or his mom) can color on it! Nice example…


If deciding between those two options my wife and I almost always choose experiences.

But I’d like to introduce a 3rd category: Giving.

We certainly place a high value on experiences, we LOVE taking great vacations and making memories together. But we have experienced as much joy, if not more, when with give to causes we are passionate about. Experiences are great and we cherish them, but nothing quite compares with feeling like we are using what we have to help people in need and impact people’s lives in a positive way.

Also, by travel hacking we have been able to have some awesome experiences at very minimal cost. Which has allowed us to give more! So in a lot of ways we have been able to get the best of both worlds; having great experiences and giving generously to make a lasting impact on our world.


More Stuff or More Money

I believe that managing your monthly cash flow is the key to financial success!


I think that it all comes with age. When we are young, we work to get stuff: house, furniture, clothes, tech etc. After 40, people start thinking about their emotions and experiences.