Every year, we spend money on stuff. Some stuff is necessary, like food and Netflix, while other stuff is not so much. This year, I decided to look back at some of the best (and later, the other) things that I spent money on in 2017.
Cedar Play Set
Years ago (and two children less), our neighbour gifted us an old swing set that they no longer needed. It had two swings, a slide and a two-seater see-saw thingy. As the kids got older and more plentiful, it was becoming clear that this old swing set was not going to be enough. Nor, being at least 15 years old, was it exactly sturdy. In the spring, we happened to be in Costco and saw a giant cedar play set with two swings, a trapeze bar, two slides, a clubhouse...it's exactly what you would want if you were a kid. We bought it and a friend and I spent 9 hours on a Saturday building it and I only cut myself once. Not a day passed all summer that the kids didn't want to play on it.
The best investment you can make is investing in yourself. Since I started in this profession, I really haven't stopped learning. in 2017, I added to my knowledge with the Registered Retirement Consultant credential (read all about that exciting journey here). Also, 2017 was the year my wife decided she wanted to go back to school. She is one full semester into her accounting degree all while running our household of 6. She's amazing!
With Danielle studying all day and night, she kind of needs the laptop. There were many times that I needed to bring it for a presentation or a meeting, but her school comes first, so I improvised. Just before Black Friday, Dell had a crazy sale on computers. I had been looking at a small, quick-loading laptop and didn't feel like spending thousands of dollars (Apple, I'm looking at you). I use Chrome as my main browser. I use an Android phone. I use Google Drive to house some files and 86% of the programs I need for work are online. It only made sense to try a Chromebook. I love it.
This year marked my tenth wedding anniversary and we wanted to celebrate it in style. We started looking for cheap flights and hotels in March and after a lot of effort, we ended up in Sin City at the end of August, during a heat wave. Fitting, since ten years earlier on our honeymoon, we needed to be evacuated from Mexico by the Canadian Consulate because of hurricane David. We just can't catch a break. Anyway, we rented a car and spend 4 days doing all the non-Vegas things: Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. The nights, however, were spent in every Gordon Ramsay restaurant we could find. And gambling. There was some of that too. Before we even got on the plane home we were planning our next trip.
How about you? Think back over the last 12 months and let me know what some of the best things you bought were.
Next week, I'll go through some of the other things I spent money on in 2017.
Kenneth Coombs CFP CHS RRC
Ken has 13 years experience in the financial services industry, is a Registered Retirement Consultant and a Certified Financial Planner. Ken has written financial planning columns and has been a guest on financial radio and podcast programs.