THE MONEY MINUTE – Christmas gift idea: give them an experience

by Jac M. Arbour CFP®, ChFC®
President, J.M. Arbour Wealth Management

Wow. Look at all the advertising. Look at all the products for sale. Look at all the money being spent on stuff—stuff that will soon be obsolete, no longer the “next-best-thing,” and most likely, thrown away, worn out, or placed on a shelf or in a box to sit in the dark for years.

Millennials (I am one of them), as annoying as we can be to some older generations, have reminded the world of something important: There is more value in memories from life experiences than can be found in most tangible products.

In 1993, my grandparents took my mother, my sister, and myself to Disney World, Epcot, Sea World, A Hawaiian Luau, and other major attractions in Orlando. We rented a small silver car. We stayed at Summerfield Suites in Buena Vista. The breakfast buffet at the resort had a cereal lineup that made me very excited (I love my cereals). We sat together for every meal. I did cannon balls into the pool. So did my grandfather, which made him even cooler in my book. I tried wrestling with my sister in the pool. She wasn’t a fan of that. My grandfather got on stage at the Luau in front of hundreds of people and danced in a way that left us all in stitches. We watched movies together on the planes. We did it all.

My family has reminisced about these moments many times, and each time we do, we smile, we laugh, and we comment how we wish we could go back and do it all over again.

To me, those memories are the best gifts in the world. I carry them with me every day. They will never be put on a shelf. They will never become obsolete. They will always be the “best-thing.”

This year, regardless of your budget, consider giving experiences. Some do not cost a dime. Be creative in the experiences you create. More than anything, the energy behind your intent will determine how the experience is well, experienced.

Here is what I promise: You can give the gift of a lifetime without spending a penny.

See you all next month.

Jac Arbour CFP®, ChFC®

Jac Arbour is the President of J.M. Arbour Wealth Management and can be reached at 207-248-6767. Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.


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