I’d rather spend money on experiences than things.
I saw The Dark Knight Rises yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was the best Batman movie yet. I know a lot of critics and others liked The Dark Knight better, but I liked the prevailing attitude of hope in the third one. I wrote that I was going to see it, and an online buddy of mine pointed out that he was all about watching his movies at home:
The truth, though, is that even if I had a sweet home theater system, I’d probably still go to the movies. Because I like the experience. I like to sit in the theater with the big screen. I like to eat the overpriced concessions. The Dark Knight Rises was what I wanted in a movie experience, and well worth it. Especially since I didn’t have to pay $500.
In fact, I only paid $6 (+ a $1.25 convenience for buying my ticket online) for the matinee performance, and $4.75 for the kids combo drink/popcorn/novelty candy. But I’d pay more for a movie experience — and I have. When it comes to an experience I enjoy, no amount of money is too much.
It’s why I’m trying to figure out when I can drive an hour to an IMAX to watch it again.
Spending: Experience Trumps Stuff Every Time
For me, experience trumps stuff every time. When it comes to buying things, I can be a bit of a tightwad. This is because I see stuff largely as a waste of money. I’d rather use that money to have an enjoyable experience. And when I’m ready to have an experience that I know I’ll like, I’m not overly picky about how much it costs.
No, I’m not going to do something totally irresponsible and unsustainable with my money. I enjoy less costly staycations regularly, but if I’m going on a vacation, I’m not going to try to make it a frugal one. I’m going to live it up. Because I like the experience, and I don’t want it to turn into a study in restrictions and limitations as I try to pinch every vacation penny.
I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with frugal living, or trying to save money on vacations. It’s just not my style. There are things I like spending money on, and most of those things are related in some way to an experience, not buying more things, or getting the nicest, fanciest stuff. From the standpoint of stuff, I guess that might make me frugal. I don’t like spending the money on it as much. So I don’t. But from an experience angle, I’m not very frugal at all.
So, I’ll keep going to the theater to see movies, even if I know I’m getting totally ripped off (although, in my small town, it’s not very expensive at all). And I’ll probably go see The Dark Knight Rises a couple more times in the theater.
Because that’s a movie that really is better on the big screen.