Create lasting memories that will outlast the "Things" in your life.
With Jen Maki
Monday is Garbage Day in my neighborhood. As I looked outside at all the boxes, cans, bags and canister full of garbage, I'm reminded of how many "things" I've purchased and consumed this past year. How many of these things are still making memories? Taking up space? Still being paid for on the MasterCard? I'd venture to say many of you can relate. I see empty cans from staining the deck. Cans of unused sidewalk salt turned into salt licks with all the humidity. I see boxes from the latest snow boots, ski boots and even hip waders. Inside the canister is a story all of it's own. I won't go there.
Now I'm all about recycling, re-purposing and reusing, but there comes a time when enough is enough and we realize it's not about things but memories, experiences. I can remember my kids watching Veggie Tales, Madame Blueberry...going to the StuffMart. She gathered stuff because she could, she felt better, I don't know. Imagine if your daily latte was eliminated or you ate out one time less each week or even brown bagged it for lunch (gasp!) This example alone shaved $5500 off my expenses and could easily fund one grand vacation or several smaller ones. Need to run to StuffMart (again?!) My all time favorite is going to the store for XYZ and coming out with the entire alphabet! How'd that happen???? My point is, if we were more intentional about what we bought we would have more to spend on memories like traveling.
I met a gal the other day who told me of her family's travels once a quarter. They'd seen more of the world than National Geographic, I'm sure of it. She told me how people assume she's so rich, after all, who can afford to travel to all ends of the earth so often? Then she reminded them it's all about priorities. They don't spend thousands of dollars on camping equipment, they backpack through Europe. Nor do they have the latest and greatest skis or snowshoes; they safari in Africa. No cabin in the woods for this family; they prefer to spend time in Paris. This may seem drastic to you, for me, it sounds amazing!
So as you clean out, up or otherwise, consider tightening your budget belt on the little pleasures which add up to much bigger pleasures in the end: memories of time spent with your family. That my friends, is priceless.