INSIDE: Welcome to Day 10 of the 30 Days to a Stress-Free Christmas challenge! Today I’m sharing why we should spend money on experiences instead of ‘things’ this Christmas – and how to do it! Want to know how to create long-lasting, happy memories this holiday season? Keep reading!
Making Christmas memories…
On Day 2, Challenge #2, we talked about mind dumping our gift ideas and I promised we’d come back to that list at some point. And that’s what this week is all about. This week we’re going to get all your Christmas shopping sorted!
Come the end of the week, you’ll know who you’re buying for. You’ll have finalised a list of gifts to get. You’ll be prepared in case you accidentally forget someone. AND, you’ll have a battle plan for buying and wrapping your gifts with time to spare!
Sounds pretty good, right?!
Hopefully, by now your list of gift ideas is nice and long. Because tomorrow we’re going to finalise that gift list. But before we do, there’s something I’d like you to do first. Today, I want you to come up with a few ways to spend money on experiences instead of ‘things‘.
Challenge #10: Spend money on experiences instead of things this Christmas…
Think back to your childhood for a moment…
Can you remember every birthday and Christmas present you were given? I bet you can’t! Whilst that might be a struggle, I bet you CAN remember where you went on holiday, the places you used to go and the things you did together?
When we spend money on experiences we’re creating memories. We’re creating moments we’ll remember for years to come. Moments that our kids will grow up to cherish and look back on with a smile. Just like the moments we smile about from our own childhood. Moments that’ll mean FAR much more to them than a Christmas present they’ll have forgotten about in a couple of years’ time.
Experiences make us happier in the long-run…
There’s been a ton of research on how spending money on experiences makes us happier than spending money on ‘things‘ ever can. Material things might make us happy initially yes, but that feeling soon fades. Before long, we’ve forgotten about whatever the thing was we craved so desperately and we’ve moved onto something else.
Take for instance owning a movie you’ve wanted since it’s release in the cinema. I bet you were happy and excited when you opened the box and put it into the player for the first time? But now you’ve watched it a few times, the novelty has worn off. I’m betting that the movie you so desperately wanted now just sits on the shelf and you hardly give it a moment’s thought. Am I right?
It’s the same for the majority of the things we buy.
Memories on the other hand, last a lifetime. I have so many memories of things I did as a kid or have done with my boys that still make me feel warm and fuzzy and bring a smile to my face every time I think about them. Which is totally different to how I feel about the DVDs and BluRays sitting in my TV cabinet!
How can you spend money on experiences this Christmas?
Instead of picking a toy or game out of a catalogue or ordering them something from Amazon, what could you buy your kids this year that would give them happy memories for years to come? Memories that make them smile and make them feel close to you?
It doesn’t have to be anything grand or fancy, just something that allows them to spend quality time with you. Because after all, that’s all they want. And I know that’s what you want too.
Spend some time brainstorming…
What gifts could you buy that would give you the opportunity to spend time together? What gifts would help you to bond and bring you closer together? Which gifts would encourage fun, or adventure?
How could you help them to discover something new or give them the opportunity to learn, to explore or to be creative? And what gifts could you buy that would make you smile, laugh and have a great time together?
Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- A subscription to their favourite magazine. See the smile on their face as it lands on the doormat each month, as they snuggle up with you on the sofa and you read it together.
- A cinema voucher. They choose the movie, they pay for it with their voucher, you buy the popcorn, you choose your seats and enjoy the show.
- Dinner for two at your favourite restaurant. TGI Fridays, Pizza Express, Nando’s…wherever it may be, get a voucher for dinner and take them on a date one day after school.
- Trying something new together that takes you outside your comfort zones – e.g. going to a trampoline park, signing up for an escape room experience, indoor skydiving, learning to climb etc.
Want more ideas?
Here’s how we’ve spent money on experiences over the years…
- Days out in London. There are so many great things to do in London, a lot of them are free or 2 for 1 too! We make a packed lunch, jump on the train and spend the day trawling the museums. Where could you go that’s close to you that would make a great day out?
- Membership to National Trust and English Heritage. Instead of buying the latest video console, we bought family memberships to National Trust and English Heritage. Now we literally have HUNDREDS of free days out together. All we need to do is pack a lunch, choose where to go and jump in the car!
- Gift cards for my youngest’s favourite coffee shop. He absolutely LOVES going for a hot chocolate and brownie once a week after school. We sit and read, draw, do his homework or play Scrabble. It’s SO much fun. It’s a date I try to do with him as often as we can.
- Bought cookbooks that have recipes I can make with my boys. We sit and look at all the recipes, stick a post-it note on the pages of each one we want to make. Then we choose one together, go buy the ingredients and have a baking session!
Still stumped how to spend money on experiences instead of things?
Try asking your family! I’m amazed at some of the ideas my boys have had on how we could spend more quality time together. Give it a go and see what your kids come up with…it’s a fun conversation to have. You may even be surprised by some of their answers. I certainly was!
That’s it for today!
I’ll be back tomorrow with challenge #11 of 30 Days to a Stress-Free Christmas challenge. In the meantime, have fun coming up with ways to spend money on experiences instead of ‘things‘ this Christmas. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts for this challenge if you haven’t done so already too!
- Day 1: Let’s Get Your Christmas Planning Started!
- Day 2: What Gifts to Buy?
- Day 3: Get Organised for Christmas.
- Day 4: Write Out Your Christmas Budget.
- Day 5: Take a Break and Have a Well-Earned Rest!
- Day 6: Declutter Your Child’s Bedroom.
- Day 7: Winter Prep Your House and Car.
- Day 8: Start a Packing List.
- Day 9: Do Your Christmas Decorations on a Budget.
That’s it for this post! How will you spend money on experiences instead of things this Christmas? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
P.S. Get all of the Christmas challenges by email!
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In it, you’ll find checklists for your Christmas budget, Christmas shopping, meal planning and prepping, family traditions, planning your travel and so much more. With every Christmas planning step you can possibly think of listed, no stone will be left unturned and nothing will be forgotten!
Simply enter your email address below and I’ll send it to you right away along with the first challenge!