Today is my 33rd Birthday. For me, it’s a number. I’ve never been worried about my age or getting older, it’s just something that happens. I am a big fan of having others celebrate and make a big fuss over me on my birthday. This year I’m asking for the gift of experiences rather than things.
On my 30th Birthday my friends and family orchestrated the most beautiful celebration of my life and goals. I’d written a post called 35 by 35 that outlined a bucket list of things I wanted to experience by 35. They pooled together to get me 30 separately wrapped gifts that were tools to help me achieve those items on my bucket list. It was special to me because I was in another state and unable to be with them on my big day.
I was also a heavy consumer at the time. It’s embarrassing to look back and see how frivolous my husband and I were at spending our money. To be honest, spending the money we didn’t physically have. We built a home outside of our budget, bought all the top notch baby gear when Soph was born and ordered things on a whim daily on Amazon. If there was a want for something, we bought it. It became a habit over the years and took us until we moved to Indy to realize what a disease that consumption was on our lives.
And now, we’re paying for it.
You wouldn’t be able to tell by the way we live. We still have our nice cars, our nice home filled with nice things, our daughter that goes to the best school and photos of our vacations up on Facebook. We were living like 90% of Americans who thought they were entitled to wrack up debt for their high standard of living. When we lived in IL we were in the top 1% financially but spent that money like we were Millionaires. We took a massive paycut when we moved to IN and it jolted us to reality of how selfish and inappropriately we had been spending.
The Gift of Experiences
As we try to chip away at our debt and feel like we have a slight glimmer at the end of the tunnel we decide to have another baby. We don’t want Sophia to be too far apart in age from her sibling. And THIS is where I realize there is no more light at the end of that tunnel. Thankfully, I also realize that there is NOTHING else that we need. Nothing.
We will obviously still be paying for diapers and consumables but all of the other baby necessities we already own. We own everything we need for our homes to cook, clean and be entertained. At this point, there’s nothing that I even want. That is why I’m asking for the gift of experiences for my Birthday from now on. Less stuff, more fun. Time spent with my loved ones or a chance to spend time somewhere fun with my family. Movie tickets, restaurant tickets, Disney World gift certificates or just a date on my calendar with someone special that I care about. The gift of their time is the greatest gift someone can give.