One day — as I was scrolling through TikTok — I stumbled upon a video with a caption about spending money on experiences rather than things, and it made me rethink the concept of spending money.
As someone who instinctually saves their money and has goals of traveling, I’ve never thought about spending money on experiences until I saw that video.
Now don’t get me wrong, as the girlie girl one may consider me – and which I am – I love going on shopping sprees and treating myself to a mani-pedi. Doing such activities isn’t wrong, and treating yourself with gifts is a way of showing appreciation for yourself. And if you can afford high-end designers, then go for it.
However, there is so much more to life than that new summer dress or those new Nike shoes. And let's not forget how we all have financial responsibilities to tend to as well, though that’s another topic for another day.
Pure happiness can’t be attained by buying objects, but by immersing oneself in new experiences. Letting one’s five senses encounter new surroundings can satisfy and awaken one’s body and bring a sense of being a part of the Earth.
Our beautiful Earth is filled with wholesome people, delicious food, radiant architecture and nature. Why miss out on an opportunity to be able to enjoy even a sliver of such beauty?
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One doesn’t have to go far, either, to enjoy the beauty the Earth offers. It could be as simple as checking out your local farmers’ market, driving out to the countryside to see the colors of a sunset bringing warmth to the sky or going on hikes.
Just because you’re on a budget or living in a small town doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the many tiny details that are in our lives that can be taken advantage of so easily.
For those who have extra money to spare, why waste it on buying a new shirt when you don’t necessarily need it? Put that money into airfare or gas and go seek out the ocean, a new hiking adventure or take time and travel to a different country and appreciate a different culture.
At the end of the day, we are going to outgrow the material things we have in some shape or form, but you can’t outgrow memories.
Wealth in our society is measured in dollars, but in time, our memories can make us richer than money ever could.
Natalie Fitzgibbons (she/her) is a junior standing studying journalism with a minor in American Studies.