Money on memories!

Vacations are certainly not cheap. But the memories you create with your family are priceless!

When I was young–who am I kidding; even when I was not so young—I used to spend my (and more often than I care to admit, my parents’) money on material things. Whether it was cool jeans or the newest pair of “Jordan” sneakers when I was in high school and college or fancy rims for my car or cool electronics equipment when I was a little older; I never hesitated to spend money on “stuff”. Just “stuff”.

Well, whether it was because I was furthering my career in corporate accounting and finance and wanted to at least pretend to be responsible or because I got married, had children, and actually had to be responsible; I did a complete 180 with my approach to money, spending, and saving.  Rather than spend money as freely and carefree as I wanted and when I wanted, I began to deprive myself of almost any enjoyment or material ‘toy’, feeling that I was being selfish for spending on myself or, worse yet, that I hadn’t yet earned the right to reward myself.

But we are all growing, maturing (hopefully), and evolving creatures.  We may think we know the path on which we are headed, but inevitably there will be roadblocks and detours along the way, expressways and shortcuts that have not yet been updated on our internal GPS systems.  And more times than not, these deviations from what we planned or considered will not only be beneficial, but even healthy and necessary.

And so it is with my approach toward spending.  Previous to now, I’d viewed money at one of two extremes.  Either my paycheck was spent almost before I even received it or I meticulously scrutinized every purchase.  I realize now that it is okay to spend money, even large sums of it, if it is on the right things.  And by things, I don’t really mean “things”.  I’m vacationing in Hawaii, you see, and thanks to my wife, I have finally realized and (almost) fully understand now, one of life’s most beautiful and liberating laws.  Spending money is okay…when you spend it on memories.  Houses depreciate.  Clothes fade.  Cars wear down.  Even jewelry loses its luster, although my wife would beg to differ. But memories last a lifetime. Forever. They will always be a part of you, a bond shared between you and those with whom you create them. And unlike material things, you can’t save up and buy them later. Like a corny sales ad that shouts “This Weekend Only” or “While Supplies Last”, you must capture moments and memories when they are in front of you. Your kids will only be young once. You and your friends will only be in college together once. And you and your soulmate will have only so many chances to share hugs and kisses in Paris, Hawaii, or just under the light from the perfect sunset or full moon. So, take this from a corporate finance ‘guy’ who can pinch pennies, manage money, and juggle bills with the best of them. Save money so that you are prepared and ready for your future, but balance it with a healthy dose of fun and rewards. While keeping some money in your pocket is important, remember that you can’t take any of it with you when you leave this Earth. And while you can certainly leave money and material things behind to your family—and I recommend you do so via a will—your family will certainly be much more grateful for the memories you leave behind.

Okay, gotta run now and take my own advice.  These memories cost a lot of money! LOL

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About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

6 Responses to Money on memories!

  1. kristen g. says:

    Bobby – I LOVE THIS POST!!!!! How true this is……. How very true this is. I can totally relate! It took meeting my hubby for me to realize it’s not the “stuff” that you accumulate it’s the places you visit and experiences you have that create wonderful memories! I hope the 4 of you are having a blast! It’s a much deserved vacation!!!! Love, Me

    • bbluford says:

      Thanks, Kristen. I’m certainly a work in progress. But I’ve realized that, even though I might not think I deserve or need a break from the grind once in a while, I KNOW my wife and kids do.

  2. Fatts says:

    Good for you Bobby… nice post, just took my kids to San Diego last week, spent a grip, but have some good memories. Your kids will remember the great time they had with their mom and dad and never know how much you spent. =) watch out for those sharks..they like dark meat…fatts.

    • bbluford says:

      Yeah. Amari and I played football in the pool, I built a sand castle or two with Jacqui, and we all got to play with Mommy in the pool and ocean. It was awesome! And I’m lucky I didn’t venture out too far in the water…because you’re right, them damn sharks would love me, man. LOL

  3. Chirs says:

    Hawaii, bro!! You didn’t tell me you were going to Hawaii! Where’s my ticket? LOL Good post.

    • bbluford says:

      Man, I sent you a text from the airport. We had your ticket ready, but you never showed up. LOL. It was a blast, man. Maria talked me into going and it’s the best negotiation I’ve ever lost ;0

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