I have a reminder tacked to my office wall. It's a hand-written note that says: "Experiences are worth more than things."
I wrote this after I tried --and failed-- to purchase a house that I'd fallen in love with. Even though the house instantly felt like "the one" and I could so easily visualize my life unfolding inside it, I realized in the nick of time that its expenses would swallow me.
Even though it was never mine, turning down the house made me feel like a failure. If only I made more money...if only I had a partner who wanted to share this house (and its expenses) with me...
But experiences are worth more than things, so I tacked that reminder to my wall to remind myself that I really would rather invest in my life than a mortgage and interest. If renting allows me to splurge on good meals, take a spur-of-the moment trip, or spoil someone I love on their birthday, then I'm content.
It's now four months later, and I've allowed myself to splurge -- a whole lot. So this week, I'm going to try to buy almost nothing. After I've become accumstomed to impulse shoe purchases and designer handbags, it's going to take a bit of focus and self-denial, but I'm eager to try. Since I have a fridge fully stocked with groceries and leftovers (not to mention a Netflix account, gym membership and stack of library books to keep me busy), it's a good time to try.