Are there situations where it's appropriate for young people to "splurge"?

David WeliverDavid Weliver
Money Under 30

Yes, I think the best “splurge” young adults can make is on travel and experiences. Studies have shown time and time again that spending money on experiences like travel makes us far happier than spending money on material goods. (We’ve written about that effect here.)

True, travel can be expensive. You could buy a lot of “stuff” for the cost of one excursion to the other side of the world. But taking such a trip has the chance not only to be a lifelong memory but also to be a life-changing event. The right experiences have the potential to make you a better (and at the very least, a more interesting) person.

While I would never encourage someone to go into debt, there are times when borrowing money is appropriate to help you accomplish worthy goals, such as using a student loan to get your degree or a mortgage to buy a home. For the once-in-a-lifetime trip, you might not regret borrowing money to make it possible. Just be sensible.

I understand not everyone is in the position to travel the world or even drive from California to Maine. But as you think about how you allocate limited spending money, consider deleting your shopping cart to rent a boat with friends instead. Go skydiving or even just hit up a five-star restaurant for a special occasion. In 15 years, you’ll remember these things; the stuff you bought will be collecting dust in storage.

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