If you have returned from your summer holiday to numerous emails encouraging you to ‘book now for summer 2018’ coupled with generous discounts from the same holiday company you used if you book through them again, hold fire! Here’s why you shouldn’t book now…
Instead of being persuaded to part with any hard earned money that you may yet to earn, why not take time to think about the sort of experiences you want for you and your family over the next 12 months.
At Serenity Financial Planning, we talk a lot about the importance of experience and how such things as holidays and red letter days often provide more value in the long term in the form of memories than material possessions might ever do in their lifetime.
However, you shouldn’t always equate ‘experiences’ with something big, like a holiday abroad, or once in a lifetime opportunities such as ‘Grand Prix days’ at Silverstone.
No-one is denying that these aren’t amazing things to experience – and holiday companies hope that you would have had such an enjoyable time this summer that you will barely hesitate placing a deposit on the same destination next year.
Yet it’d be hard to justify these experiences as anything we need. They are things that we want, desire…
So what about experiences we need? Can we even need experiences?
The answer is, quite simply, yes… if we revisit Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which details five tiers of needs in a triangle, with the most basic such as food, water, warmth and rest at the bottom, then leading on to what Maslow described as psychological needs: intimate relationships, prestige and feelings of accomplishment. Undoubtedly there are experiences, arguably as enjoyable as a holiday in paradise, that will fulfill these psychological needs.
Think about how you address certain problems around the house or garden: ‘the lawn needs mowing… those flower beds need chopping back… we need a new sofa…’ Or when you get in the car and think ‘these seats need recovering… the stereo speakers need updating…’ Some of these ‘needs’ sound trivial but they all link into Maslow’s idea of feelings of accomplishment and prestige.
Consider how good it makes you feel when you are able to sit out in the kitchen and look out at a perfectly manicured lawn and tidy beds. Or when you sit down to watch the latest box set on Netflix and instead of sinking that too deeply into the cushions or fiddling with an ingrained stain on the arm that has been there for years, you actually can focus on how comfortable you feel sitting on your new sofa and how great it looks.
Take it to the next level – suddenly you have a garden where you feel more able to host a barbecue for friends and family or a living room that now makes the perfect gathering for a dinner party, or simply more relaxed times with your family. Maybe taken individually these experiences do not stand up against a luxurious trip abroad but collectively they will go on far beyond the time when you are sharing your holiday pictures on social media.
Of course, new sofas and tidy gardens may still sound like superficial wants and desires but they lead to experiences that deserve to be considered when deciding whether or not to act upon those ‘book now for next summer’ emails.
Ask yourself this: is 2018 the year you once again top up your tan or finally spruce up the kitchen?