Why I believe experiences are better than materials

We live in this consumerism society where people are spending their money away on things that make them look good from the outside. Americans are all in debt in some form and debt can come from spending their money on lavish things. This is where the concept of materialism comes in. We all may have a form of social media and if we don’t, we will hear it from other places around the web. It’s an open place for free speech and democracy and… a place to show off. It’s a platform where you see your followers have shared that they bought an expensive and brand new car, a designer purse, the trendiest clothes, expensive pair of shoes, the latest makeup kits, and the latest and high priced tech gadgets.

I admit, I was this type of person, most especially in my late teen years and nearly getting into my 20’s. Sometimes, I do impulsively still buy things in those categories but I will not make a collection of it like I used to do. I don’t judge on what people choose to spend their money on, this is just an opinion of mine and why I choose to think like this — not on behalf of others.

I discovered the lifestyle of minimalism not too long ago and how a minimalist lifestyle can suit others to live more cautious from their spending and how minimalism can take a whole weight off your shoulder. It is about adjusting and fixing the messes around you and being on a self-aware journey. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on buying a new eye shadow palette, where you most likely have an eye shadow palette of the same nude colors already, you could have used the money to go out to a restaurant instead to try food you’ve been dying to try or round trip bus tickets to New York City.

That’s why I believe experiences are more worthy of saving for and spending your money on rather than buying things that will make you look good for the moment. With experiences, you will always have a story to tell. With memories, you will always have something to look back on, but an item? It may be something you might use once or forget you had. Sometimes, they won’t last forever. For example, when I was in my teenage years to early adult years, I was quite a shopaholic and I spent most of my paychecks from my very first job to buy clothes, which looking back, was totally unnecessary and ludicrous. I collected so much clothes, makeup, and nail polishes over the years and it ended up me not having anymore space in my tiny bedroom to place my things in.

I was utterly disgusted of myself how I came to make that mess and looking back, I wish at 18, I had started to make so much experiences that don’t require a trip to the mall. I wish I had already saved for travels and other adventures and many other things.  In fact, I wish I had saved that money then and just find myself doing adventures that were free like a hike in the mountains or a swim at the beach. You won’t always have someone to remind you or tell you these things because like I said, you have the choice of where you want to spend your money on. I wish people had warned me earlier but sometimes, like in my past experience, you really learn as you go. I have then found a way to get rid of the clothes and items I didn’t really need. I donated them and I sell my things on online marketplaces. I find that some things I am selling don’t have the value that they used to have when I first bought it and that’s going to happen especially if they were used.

Sure, a really awesome car or a designer Prada purse might give you thrills, but experiences can also do that. Experiences actually aren’t just going to do an adventure but the experience of giving to someone than treating yourself. You could be treating your mother with a dinner and bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day or giving your dad the gift he always wanted in his life, whatever it may be. Seeing your loved one’s reaction is always priceless and it will make you happy seeing others happy.

Another thing is if you really want to buy something, instead of looking to own something, try renting. Renting won’t be permanent and you won’t have the burdens and responsibilities that comes with ownership! Instead of choosing to buy a house, try renting for now. Instead of buying a boat, try renting. There are so many things that will provide you comfort or thrills that you don’t have to be attached to for forever and having to put down a large amount of money on. Also, if you’re deciding on what to buy, there’s nothing wrong with going with cheaper alternatives sometimes. I actually needed to buy a new laptop so that it will be easier and lighter for me to carry around in college and while I already have a laptop (just very heavy in weight) that stores a lot of my pictures and files and while I know most students in my college have a MacBook, which are priced at $1000 or more, I bought myself a Chromebook which is so much cheaper and is only meant for the things I need: to do my online homework, to write out papers, to do some internet surfing, and to blog here haha.

After working in retail for so many damn years, I believe it made me be the person I am choosing to be now. I have seen others indulge in buying thousands of dollars on a watch or a gold necklace with diamonds from behind the counter. I know that those amount of money can be exchanged for so much better and rewarding life experiences. Even experiences can help you save! Experiences can give you satisfaction of a lifetime because I still smile the times I got to see my favorite artists live from the hundreds of concerts I’ve gone to or remembering what it’s like being in a completely foreign country and having a positive experience.

Life is what you make it and you want to make sure you’re free of stress and depression. So connect with others, but most especially, connect with yourself.

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