Should you spend money on materials or experiences?

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When Family Clothesline releases new Penn State Lululemon items, it’s hard to resist buying it. Those Amazon Prime day deals are equally hard to pass up, with free shipping and delivery within three to five business days.

Should you really be spending your hard earned money (or birthday money from grandma) on a new pair of shorts or a phone case, though?

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Typically, we don’t think much of spending $10-20, because in the moment, it makes us happy and that money is probably easily earned back. The problem with this is that we become used to getting new things that brings us instant-gratification.

Once you wear a new piece of clothing once or twice, it becomes less thrilling, right? You might get a new phone for the holidays, but soon the excitement of being able to take 0.5 pictures or having better camera quality dwindles away. 

Evaluating the Price of Experiences

Why, if spending money on materials isn’t such a good idea, should you save up money for experiences?

There are cons to be said about doing this, too. Travel, for example, can be extremely expensive. You could probably buy 10 pairs of Lululemon leggings and 200 Starbucks drinks for the price of a trip to Paris — and that’s if you slept on the streets. Is it really worth it for a week in another country when you could be walking around campus with an iced vanilla latte in your hand for the next year? 

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Experiences are, however, worth the wait and all the spending cuts.

You will always be able to find happiness by living through memories and countless videos, photos and Snapchat memories.

Take THON, for example — a weekend full of memories of laughter, tears, and love. It’s something you can’t experience anywhere else. And the best part is, the money goes to the kids. Time is one of the most valuable things on this planet, and choosing to spend that time with family, friends, in another country, having a picnic for the day or standing at THON will only benefit you in the end. The time you spend remembering these experiences after will only bring you more happiness. It’s like an endless cycle of joy, and who doesn’t want that?

With all of this being said, the point isn’t to forgo buying a cute shirt when you really want it, or to not splurge for your birthday and buy some makeup from Sephora.

The point is simply to be mindful and to think about what you want from life. Would you regret not doing something meaningful when you are old and gray? If the answer to that is yes, then just think about where the money could be going if you don’t spend it on what will make you happy for just a day.

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Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with what you want to spend your $$ on next and what you hope to experience in the future!


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