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Buy things, not experiences?

Today is Thursday, money bosses, and I have a handful of interesting money stories for you.

First up, here’s an intersting counter-point to a common personal-finance maxim. The author urges readers to buy things, not experiences. I’m linking to this not because I agree with it (because I don’t really), but because it made me think. Perhaps it will make you think too.

Buy things, not experiences. [Harold Lee] — “This rationalization ignores is the extent to which tools and possessions enable new experiences. A well-appointed kitchen allows you to cook healthy meals for yourself rather than ordering delivery night after night. A toolbox lets you fix things around the house and in the process learn to appreciate how our modern world was made.”

While I find that article interesting and believe the author has some valid points, it’s also frustrating for a couple of reasons. First, he assumes that the advice to “buy experiences not things” is just made up by wealthy people. It’s not. It’s based on multiple research studies. (Here are my thoughts on one study.) Second, the author then jumps to conclusions based on his own opinions rather than any sort of evidence.

So, it’s an article with some interesting arguments and ideas, but one that is ultimately frustrating because it reads like an internet rant from somebody who has an opinion but no facts to back up his beliefs.

Okay, here are a couple of other money articles…

Why negotiating gives you anxiety…and why it shouldn’t. [Salon] — “Most of our negotiations go really well and we feel good about them. We just hate the idea of negotiating. I believe that comes from not our direct experiences — some of which are bad — but more the negotiations that we have observed, which tend to be Hollywood negotiations. Hollywood loves drama. You see these negotiators on the big screen trying to bully each other. That’s just not how life usually goes.”

What you need to know about estate planning. [The White Coat Investor] — “Estate planning is a chore that most of us put off whenever possible. We usually find it uninteresting and expensive, and even worse, it can force us to face our own mortality. However, it is an important aspect of financial planning and, when done poorly (or not at all), can really cause a mess for heirs.”

And to wrap things up today, here’s a fun little video. This 14-minute segment from 1949 was produced by the United States Department of Agriculture to demonstrate what a modern U-shaped kitchen was capable of.

This seems quaint now, I know, but these are the sorts of kitchens I grew up with. And a lot of the conclusions shared in this video are still applicable to kitchens in 2022.

That’s it for Thursday. I’ll be back tomorrow to take you into the weekend. So long!