Do you value Things or Experiences?


I have self-diagnosed myself officially as a minimalist…lol. Since I have put off this label for about 6 months now, I have come to grips with it. After listening to The Minimalist’s podcast yesterday, it all makes sense now. Why do I wear the same 5 shirts in all of my pictures? You know it’s bad when your brothers start to comment on your plain white tee’s as your typical outfit. Based on my “condition” :), I want to pose a question to you. Do you value things or experiences more?

Why am I writing a blog post about this?

During a conversation this past weekend, I told my friend about my epic road trip (my 12 month goal), and he said that sounds “un-young adult survival guide” because I will be spending money on an experience instead of buying things or investing/saving. Yes, I want everyone to be financially responsible, however there needs to be a healthy balance of awesome experiences and things in my opinion.

There is a riff right now in society between millennials who value experiences and those who value things. Majority of young people are putting off marriage longer so they can experience life before they settle down. Also, majority of young people are postponing home ownership so they can follow their passions in their 20’s.

Let’s look at how this started…

Growing up things were all we wanted. From holidays to birthdays, even back to school stuff, the emotion of getting stuff was exhilarating. Can you relate? We were so excited to tear off the wrapping paper that the suspense was almost better than the gift waiting inside. As time passed though, those things got old, however the experience of a birthday was what resonated in our memory.

We don’t age by years, but by stories

To Reality…

This all came to a screeching halt right around the age of 16 when I had to start using my own money for things. 🙂 I always recommend that parents let their kids fail with money at an early age so they can really feel what it means to have a lot of stuff and no money.

As I got older I started to look for free and fun ways to live, such as coaching a basketball team or hiking with my dog. I started to move into the “minimalist” lifestyle, where I am content with not having a ton of stuff because the things I do have are very important to me.

Related Post: 3 Minimalist Habits Everyone Should Try

No matter what your feelings are about the balance between experiences and things. I would challenge you to know what makes you happy and follow it with your whole heart.

If you have a lot of stuff right now, but you are an experience person, challenge the norms of society and go out and create memorable experiences. And if you have a lot of experiences (good or bad) in your life, maybe it is time to settle down and start looking at acquiring things…responsibly.

There will always be people who say you can’t do something until you do it, and then they will tell everyone how they knew you growing up. LOL

(My favorite part of this post) Don’t be discouraged when people shame you because if you want a different outcome you have to do different things. When people throw shade, take it as encouragement that you are doing things different so you are on the right path.

Love Language Solution?

Do you know about love languages? I was recently introduced to this concept. What I found was, for me, I value experiences and spending time with others as showing love. Another love language was receiving gifts or things as a sign of affection. Whatever your language is, having an understanding that each person perceives this question different is very important.

If I gave you $1000 and you had to spend it, would you go on a shopping spree, spend it on a trip, or save it? What would you do? There is no right or wrong answer?