When you were younger, you might have had some type of allowance to use on whatever you wanted. What if you gave yourself an allowance for your experiences? We’re not personal finance experts, and there are plenty of books on that if you want to go deep (I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi is a great place to start). We do, however, know that when experiences truly become the priority, spending habits often change.
- Make a list of experiences you want to have but have been putting off for financial reasons. Figure out how much each one costs so you have concrete savings goals.
- Create a place to set aside money that’s just for those experiences. It can be a piggy bank at home or an actual bank account. Some banks even offer virtual savings “buckets” that allow you to collect money for specific goals without opening a separate account.
- Look closely at your expenses. Look for items that aren’t strictly necessary, or where you may be spending more than you need to. Compare those expenses to the experiences on your list from Step 1. Which are more important to you? Maybe you could make coffee at home instead of picking up a latte every morning. Maybe you only need one streaming subscription instead of four. Maybe you could opt for a romantic picnic at the park instead of a swanky restaurant.
- Whatever you cut from your previous spending now goes toward experiences. If taking your lunch to work instead of buying it saves you $50 a week, put $50 a week into your experience allowance. If you think about buying a $30 shirt but then decide to prioritize experiences instead, save $30 toward those experiences.
(Made with my co-author Joe Huff)
About Bridget Hilton
Bridget Hilton creates tools to help teams and leaders connect in the workplace through rich experiences and shared goals. Her keynote helps Fortune 500 companies navigate topics of mental health and wellness, burnout, employee belonging and connection, inspiration, motivation, and goal setting. Her book Experiential Billionaire and card deck Treasure Maps is out now. She is located in Los Angeles, CA and is booking keynotes and workshops worldwide now.