Collect moments not things
I was a terrible spendthrift until I turned 40. Now I aim to ‘collect moments not things’ and I’m much happier for it.
The photo above shows my husband and son paddling in the sea. I remember this as being a really lovely moment, worth more to me than any swanky handbag or fancy gadget.
As I grew up I was told that spending money on experiences, such as going to the cinema or eating out, was a waste of money because I ‘would have nothing to show for it’. But I have learned that buying things just for the sake of it does not bring happiness, it just means your house gets full of stuff you don’t really want or need.
For some time now, I have been buying less stuff and decluttering the stuff we already have. Items that we are not using could be used and enjoyed by other people. I’m never going to manage to be a proper minimalist, but I have already made progress on creating more space and reducing the amount of stuff in our home. This is especially important because our current house is smaller than our old house, and has much less storage space.
I’m a big fan of ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way To Banish Clutter Forever’ by Marie Kondo. It has really helped me to get rid of items that do not bring me joy, and to make better use of my favourite things.
With limited money available, I would rather spend money on experiences than things. In particular, I don’t want to waste money on things that do not bring me joy!
I’ve worked to get my credit card bill under control by having a wishlist, instead of buying things as soon as I see them, and using cash wherever possible. We are aiming to to be mortgage free by 2020, by making regular over-payments to shorten the mortgage term.
This is also about trying to be a good role model for my son. I have talked to him about why I think having fun together is more important than having things, and why having less stuff means that there is more space to play. We still buy toys, particularly Lego, but we are more selective.
When it comes to expensive toys, like games consoles, I have explained that I think it is more fun to spend the same amount of money on a seaside holiday. This seems to have worked (so far!), because my son loves the seaside as much as I do.
So if you carry on reading this blog, you can expect to see more about moments and less about things.