Beyond the Plan

By quirk of fate or just how things have turned out lately both my wife and I have been earning a little extra income lately that isn’t required for the early retirement plan.  In her case, she ended up with an extra kid that is filling a slot that was normally empty two days a week.  In my case, I never planned on this blog or the book to make much money (meanwhile the book is almost half way to breaking even already). Granted we could take the money and accelerate our plan slightly, but the amounts are so small that it won’t make much of a difference (perhaps a month or two).

So now we are in the odd situation of being beyond our plan.  Now I could go spend the money on more ‘stuff’, which granted I might end up doing some of that, but I already know that stuff doesn’t equal more happiness.  So a better investment in the funds would be technically be on experiences, since those tend to have a better return on happiness.  For example, just mention the word ‘Hawaii’ in my wife’s presence and she still smiles about our trip there at the start of the year.

The question I’m sort of wondering about is should we buy lower cost experience on a more frequent basis or save the extra cash up for something larger but less frequent?  As an example, we could during our next regular vacation take in a few extra attractions or nicer meals as smaller items,  or same the money up a few years and take another winter vacation somewhere warm again (which we might do anyway, this would just get us there quicker).

I can see benefits to both options so I’m a bit torn on what would work best.   So I’m asking you for your opinion. What would you do with a little extra money: accelerate your plans, buy stuff, more frequent experiences or less frequent experiences?

8 thoughts on “Beyond the Plan”

  1. I personally prefer to save up longer for a better vacation less often, rather than lots of little trips. Definitely wouldn’t spend it on more stuff. If I wasn’t in great need of a vacation, I’d accelerate plans.

  2. The journey is just as important as the destination. Besides, we can’t be confident that we will even arrive! Some living in the now is definitely important. My huband and I are now financially independent but we did not give up some nice experiences on our way there.

  3. When I had unexpected windfalls over the years (such as bonuses or a partial pre-inheritance from my grandfather), I just added them to my investments. I never tied any extra spending to extra income (or vice-versa).

  4. I had the same situation this month – worked a month longer than I thought I would. I spent 10% of it on a course I’d been wanting to take and the rest is just added to the pot. Although after seeing my last electricity bill, I did splurge on some utility stock. 😉

  5. why not split it up but forget the buying stuff option
    ie. a portion to plan acceleration, a portion to small experiences and the remainder to big experience – portions up to you.
    Temper all this with one of my favourite little rhymes penned by
    Piet Hein (from Grooks) – Living is a thing you do, now or never, which do you?

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