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Your Take: Splurge on Experiences or Things?

When I was younger, I used to collect comic books. These comic books are actually in my basement now (my parents brought them on a recent Thanksgiving visit) and they’re relics from a past era for me. When I was younger, I was big on collecting things. I had baseball cards, comic books, comic cards, Magic The Gathering cards, Hard Rock Cafe shirts, etc. I’m pretty sure I liked the idea of having a set more than actually having the set itself. It’s like the idea of not breaking the streak [3], there’s something compelling about trying to get a collection and accomplishing it.

Fast forward about fifteen years and I no longer feel that urge to collect. In fact, I feel the opposite. I don’t know when the transformation occurred or why, but rather than accumulate things I prefer to accumulate experiences and adventures. I’d rather go on a cruise with my wife and friends than buy a new set of golf clubs (I’m trying to learn), even though I’d get the same level of enjoyment out of both.

Therein also lies my financial Achilles’ heel. While I do hunt for a deal before I go, I’m often pretty loose with money when I’m on the vacation on things I couldn’t get at home. Just recently in Hawaii, we went to a Wal-Mart and actually compared price per unit on something (probably Macadamia nuts) while scheduling helicopter rides that cost $200+ a person. It’s a bit incongruous but my logic has always been to enjoy it while you’re there, it’s not like we’ll be taking many helicopter rides anyway so we might as well do it while in Kauai. (Incidentally, Jack Harter Helicopter Tours [4] was awesome)

Are you a splurge on experiences type of person or a splurge on things? Or both?