The list is growing! It started with sweet treats and plane tickets. Then, Matt added concerts and hockey. Now, Jacob from Power Over Life is here to remind us that strategic spending is the key to unlocking some of life’s greatest adventures. Here’s what he considers his best money spent:
Best Money Spent
I love the idea of making this into a monthly series. Penny is right… my wife and I put so much work into budgeting, saving money, and trying to live frugally, yet we do it so that we can also spend our money the way we want to! We routinely give up good wants so that we can experience our best wants.
The best money I spent this month (technically it was five weeks ago) was on a backpacking trip. My wife and I love backpacking, but we are so careful with our money that we can only justify going on one backpacking trip each year. We like to fund these trips in a specific way.
Keeping the Change
All year long, we buy everything with cash. But we never give the exact change to the cashier. We always give them full dollars. That means that for every transaction, we get coins back. Sometimes it’s five cents; other times, it’s ninety cents. No matter the amount, we bring the change home and put it in a jar. Once a year, we plan out a backpacking trip that we fund purely from coins! Before our trip, we take the coins into the bank, and we walk out with cash.
This year, we received $200 from our coins (a bit more than normal), so we decided to go a bit farther from home than we normally do. We took our adventure to the San Juan mountains, in southwest Colorado. We decided to hike and camp up at Ice Lake Basin for several nights. Side note… if you are a backpacking junky like us, then go grab your adventures list and put Ice Lake Basin on it! It was absolutely worth going to.
Here were our expenses:
- $59 – Gas money.
- $47 – Backpacking food.
- $9 – A few miscellaneous supplies.
- $20 – Travel food.
- $59 – Hotel room for one night.
All in all, we spent $194, and some change, to have a 4-night backpacking trip (of course this doesn’t count all the gear that we had previously purchased to do excursions such as this).
We got to experience one of our best wants and it made living frugally all year worth it. In fact, I feel like skimping and saving money all year to have a vacation like this makes it more than worth it. Because I worked hard and saved every bit that I could, I don’t take these vacations for granted. I am so glad that we went; we had an incredible time!
Strategic Saving and Spending
When it comes down to it, we all make choices in this life. Either those choices will work for us, or they will work against us. Financial choices are no different. I choose to live within our means. I choose to save all year for a vacation, rather than just spend the money today on something that I don’t have the money for.
Because I make choices like these, my money works for me, not against me. I have financial peace knowing that I can account for every dollar and where it fits into my financial life.
You too can make a choice today: spend your money on the best wants that you have, but make sure that you save for it. I promise that you will feel much better about having that item or experience after you have worked hard for it than you otherwise would have.
So Tell Us…What’s the best money you’ve spent lately? What do you do with your spare change?
Note: The fact that Jacob and his wife fund these adventures with change makes my heart go pitter patter. Save those pennies, folks!
Second Note: If you’d like to join in this series whether you are a blogger or a reader, drop me a note in the comments or connect with me at shepicksuppennies (at) gmail (dot) com.