My trip to New York two weeks ago with my friend Jean (we’ve been friends since the age of twelve) was not only about ticking off bucket wheel items, it was also about making experiences come true. We ticked off seeing Billy Joel live in Madison Square Garden – we love attending concerts! And I completed a 10km marathon in Central Park – done! I love it when your experience exceeds expectations. And that was running in New York for me. I’ve dreamed about doing it for so long! I really wanted to run a marathon, but the 10km race gave me the same goosebumps moment.
Running in Central Park gave me pause to reflect on our trip together. The best part of it all was spending time and creating new memories with my special friend. You see, the night before the run, my husband called me with the news that his cousin had just passed away. He was unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain tumour two weeks before and died a day after surgery. The message hit home: do not put your life on hold – ever. Fill your life with dreams, fill it to the brim with new experiences and let it flow over with treasured memories.
When you think back on your life now. How do you feel?
Now fast-forward another twenty years. What will you reminisce about? A life fully lived or one with lots of gaps?
Of course we can’t fill our lives with adventure and fun all year round. And that’s not really my message. Instead of doing the same things all the time, over-working and not having moments of joy – why not try something new? Yes, it is something we have to plan for and something we must allocate money to. We simply cannot have these experiences without money. But the gift of having experienced the Covid pandemic is knowing that life can be fleeting.
I strongly believe that you have to plan for your money as much as you plan your life. So when you allocate money toward saving and investments, make sure to direct some money to new experiences and creating special memories, as well as to your retirement. There must be a balance between these two.
New York may not be on the cards for all of us. Trying something new, spending time with special family and friends, and having fun does not have to be an expensive trip with resulting jetlag. As long as you make time to do the things you really want to and get your money to work for you.
It all starts with knowing what brings you joy. If you are clear on what you want to achieve, you will more readily make sacrifices with your day-to-day expenses so that you can allocate money to invest in making your dreams a reality. And this is how you give intention to your money.