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1) Donating to charity
2) Gifts to my children
Donating both time and treasure to education initiatives that support financial literacy among our youth. A form of “paying it forward”, if you will. A recently call from a young adult offering thanks for mentoring them during their high school years in this area felt like winning the lotto!
After being relegated to a series of junk crappy cars in my youth due to lack of finances, my happiness comes behind the wheel of expensive sports cars, not to “feel superior” to other people, but for enjoying the pleasure in my own little world.
Theatre tickets. The high school production of Goodbye, Birdie, college and community theatre productions, regional professional company productions, and national tours of Broadway shows are all joyful experiences. The streamed performances of the pandemic were better than no theatre, but I’m eager to mask up for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at my local theatre next month.
Paying for a couple of luxuries for my daughter: voice lessons – just for the joy of it and a math tutor, even though she does well in math – I want to make sure she remains not only competent, but also confident in math.
After a lifetime of being of diminished means, just being able to pick up the check at a restaurant with family and friends is very satisfactory.
I love to try different restaurants. I’m not fussy so I try a variety of restaurants/foods. Also, I get great pleasure from my first cup of coffee in the morning and my afternoon nap (just a quick catnap that revives me for the rest of my day).
When I was trying to cut down our budget for a trial early retirement, the biggest thing I missed was food, specifically eating out often. Since I started working, I increased our food budget significantly and we are much happier for it.
Travel brings the greatest satisfaction as does helping my children in little ways as they need it and I appreciate being able to help fund grandkids 529 plans even if it is modest amounts.
Big spending: Travel with family. Our trips to Africa, Egypt, Thailand, Kerala (India), etc., were the best spending.
Small: Books, Tintin comics for my niece (so that I can reread them too:)), self-learning video/courses for myself, bright-color flowers every other week (surprisingly, they made a lot of difference during the lockdown)
I’m not a big spender. There’s very little that I need. I get the greatest happiness when I travel to Mexico and I take some of my Mexican friends on a vacation in their own country. I’ve been fortunate to see many parts of Mexico with my friends and I have never been happier than when I am there with them.
Good food, whether at home or eating out. Wine. Gifts. Bicycling. Travel, especially the planning and the anticipation. Gardening, not that I’m very good at it, but I love watching the stuff grow. Artwork—I might purchase one new item a year.