A picture of coins and cash

Travel is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer? I disagree

Posted on Wednesday, 14th March 2018

Have you heard of the saying, ‘Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer’? Well I’m campaigning for a change.

‘Travel and counselling are the only things you buy that make you richer’. Not sure it will catch on, but I wholeheartedly believe it.

A common reason I hear people giving for being reluctant to see a counsellor is the cost. The opinion that they can’t afford it, or rather would prefer to spend money on something else.

Without wanting to be reductive I find there will often be two camps people will fall in.

“I have family/people dependant on me and I can’t justify spending that money on myself every week”

The first may be people who have families, dependants, mortgages to pay etc, and they feel that they can’t justify spending that sum of money on themselves when there are other things to be paid for. There also may be another part to this whereby people with families may feel guilty for having that time every week where they go somewhere on their own just for this.

I believe counselling can be a selfless, not to mention courageous, thing to spend money on and something that will in turn benefit your family. For example, if you have a family, and you’ve got something going on in your life which is preventing you from being fully happy, present or relaxed, I would argue that the best thing you can do for your family is seek out a way to start to feel better. If you feel good, you can focus your attention on making loved ones feel good and being there for them.

“I’m always going into my overdraft and I have so many nights out coming up that I can’t get out of”

The other ‘camp’ tend to be perhaps younger, single people. They are living in London, have extortionate rent to pay, are perhaps climbing the career ladder, still earning a modest salary, have an active social life (which does not come cheap in a city), and want to treat themselves to a new outfit/gadget/home interior purchase regularly. For these people, they might feel like they could really do with not having an extra weekly expense.

I am not suggesting these are not valid expenses. It can be financially challenging living in a city. Socialising and treating yourself to nice things are all important self care activities to many people. However, material possessions, or getting drunk, may well be acting as a plaster. How many of us have been feeling sad and have bought a new item of clothing to try and cheer ourselves up? How many of us have had a bad day and gone out and got drunk as a result? How many of us have been too tired/upset/stressed to cook and have turned to an overpriced takeaway for ease? How much money over your lifetime do you think has gone on purchasing ‘things’ in an effort to make you feel better emotionally? I want to make it clear, there is no judgement here, these are things most of us have done at some point. But think about the figure you’ve worked out in your head. How many counselling sessions could that buy you? The thing is, the happiness from a new top lasts about a day. The happiness from a takeaway lasts until about 5 minutes after you’ve finished it. The buzz from drinks lasts until the next morning, when all your problems are still there, plus they’ve been joined by a lovely hangover. If you find a good counsellor, with whom you can have a good connection with- your money will go a lot further. And what’s more, the effects will surely last a lot longer. They can be life changing.

The aim of this is not to shame you about your spending choices, or to persuade you that you need to have counselling right away! It is me encouraging you to try looking at things in a different way.

Is there one thing you could cut down on in order to make the space you deserve to work on you? Because you do deserve that.

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