Life is not for sale. And yet life is entirely too expensive. While it seems contradictory, it is a paradox we all live with every day. We get the feeling that people with more money can live more life. It is not just a matter of longevity, but a matter of density. They can afford to pack more into the years they have.
But the reality is we can all pack a bit more density into our lives without that silver spoon. The fabulously wealthy often spend silly money on things that can be obtained for less. You don’t have to go skydiving to get an adrenaline rush. It’s not worth it. Here are a few more things that are not worth it when a better life is your goal:
A Therapist to Listen to All Your Troubles
There are honest mental health issues that require a trained mental health expert. But much of what people use a therapist for is to listen to all their troubles for an hour a week. This potentially $300 a week indulgence is not worth it.
Make a friend. Get a pen-pal. Call your mother and talk to her every now and then. She is standing by for your call right now. She will listen for free. And if you go visit her, she will bake you cookies.
Rather than talking about your problems ad nauseum, why not spend the money on dealing with the root causes? If you have a toothache, you get a root canal. If you have a drug or alcohol problem, you get detox treatment. If you have a chemical imbalance, you see a health professional.
These things are worth it because you are attacking the root causes and taking direct action for actual problems. There are lots of ways you can talk it out for free. It’s probably not worth it to pay a professional for that. Pay a professional for real problems that have real solutions.
An Ivy League Education
Tuition and fees for Harvard University will run you just over $47,000. Add room and board, books, etc, and you will pay more than $73,000. That’s a lot of money per year for a general education degree. No one denies the value of a good education. But $73,000 simply isn’t worth it if what you are after are better job prospects.
Compare that to as little as $1,000 to $3,000 for community college. Other ways to get a better resume include getting industry-specific certifications, learning a language, and doing internships to gain practical experience. If you need to attend a university with regional accreditation, consider the many affordable online options. Overspending on education is not a smart move.
Gym Memberships and Personal Trainers
CNBC reported that the true cost of gym membership is about $800 a year. If you find that expensive, you should try a personal trainer in a state like California. They can run upwards of $15,000 for a six-week session. Now, how much would you pay?
You could buy your own gym equipment for home use. If you want to work cardio on decent equipment, be prepared to spend an average of $2,000. That’s for one piece of equipment. You also need to budget some space in your house for that bulky machinery that you won’t actually use.
Not worth it.
What is worth it is living a more active lifestyle. That is something you can maintain. And it doesn’t require a club membership or home renovation. Get out and walk in the morning. Run if your knees can take it. The only equipment you need for that is a pair of shoes.
Stand up frequently throughout the workday. Walk to the corner store instead of driving to the supermarket. Get an active dog and chase him around. Become a foster parent to three and four-year-olds. That should do it!
At the end of the day, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on professionals and gadgets to have a great and fulfilling life. Focus on the underlying conditions. Be a learner rather than a professional student. And be more active. Health club not required.