Splurge on what’s most important to you. Just do it.

The sun doesn’t rise and set on compound interest. Did you hear me? The sun doesn’t rise and set on compound interest.

I’m forty-eight and Soundgarden’s music has been a constant inspiration and comfort to me since I was in my early twenties. This morning I woke up to the news that Chris Cornell is dead.

Without Cornell’s music I might still be working.

In 1992 and 1993 I was a disc jockey for a large commercial classic rock station and a smaller college alternative station. At the college station we were among the first to play Soundgarden; probably the song “Outshined.” Getting paid to play music was incredibly cool, and a damned fine lifestyle, too: work all day and party all night, free concert tickets and backstage passes to any show you wanted to see, being recognized around town as a “celebrity,” etc., etc.

And so: when I jumped over into corporate America I was immediately miserable…forced to put on uncomfortable clothes and commute to a workplace where everybody was older and even more miserable than I was; and I I had to sit in a box all day putting together meaningless Powerpoint slides for an asshole of a manager who couldn’t have cared less about me or anybody else in my department. In other words, an instant loss of freedom.

I’d put on Soundgarden when I felt low…but I’d also put on Soundgarden when I felt high. They were an amazing influence–a reminder of what it had once felt like to be free, and what it’d feel like to be free once again.

Hell, I even blasted “Jesus Christ Pose” at an ex-girlfriend one time during a fight when I was trying to drown out her bitchery.

Anyway, back to splurging. I saw Soundgarden two weeks ago in Atlanta’s Fox Theater, and I’m so happy I did. Tickets were $80, but it turns out that buying one was among the best decisions I ever made. Sometimes the curtain parts and you see that money is just paper, a fiat currency, a world-wide hallucination.

And that’s where I’ll leave this morbid-ass ramble. I may not know who you are, but I hope you’ll spend a little money being good to yourself today, and I hope in a couple of decades you’ll look back fondly on having done so.

Don’t miss out on your life because you were always focused on the future. Nothing is forever. And for God’s sake, listen to the music that’s important to you at every opportunity.

Author: ER Dude

Sick of your job? After a thirteen-year career, Early Retirement Dude fled corporate America for good. You can do it too! Visit http://EarlyRetirementDude.com or email EarlyRetirementDude@gmail.com.

7 thoughts

  1. I struggle with this a lot, since I am 46 with 5 kids. Do I sacrifice everything now for the future? But then my kids are grown and gone …. So the one thing I will spend money on, still frugally, is experiences. I love my kids, I want to teach then how experiences have so much more value than things. After all, ‘Everything is on the road to junk!’

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. That was some sad news that populated my feeds this morning. You were smart to have made that small splurge — a friend of mine also saw one of his last shows over the weekend. We’ll never hear the original Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, or Soundgarden now — the soundtrack of my high school and college years. Just last week, I posted a video of Chris Cornell’s cameos in Singles on a friend’s Facebook page.

    The other thought I had this morning was the fact that money and fame are not the keys to happiness. He had both in spades (and amazing talent) and was found dead of an apparent suicide.


  3. So sad to hear the news of Cornell’s passing this morning. It brought back a flood of emotions – memories of going to see his shows back in the day. I saw Soundgarden at Lollapalooza in 1992 in St. Paul, MN – along with Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and others – and it was an amazing show. I wish I had been able to see him one last time.
    Those Soundgarden records, along with Temple of the Dog, are a soundtrack to my life back in the early to mid-90s, and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. RIP Chris Cornell. Glad you got to see him one last time..

  4. Great reminder! Paying for experiences is especially good, because they create great memories. Research proves it, as does your experience. I’ll never regret the money we spent on our honeymoon, for instance…we still talk about that trip.

    In fact, I shared this advice w/ my wife the other night, as she wanted to buy something expensive but something that she really values – I told her to go for it. Being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap, it means knowing what you value, and putting your money there.

    1. I’ve always thought a reasonable splurge–if there is such a thing–is like a cheat meal for somebody who’s on a deprivation diet. Keeps morale up and the thyroid happy.

  5. Really like this post as I am a huge Chris Cornell fan and believe spending money on experiences like concerts is important and should be prioritized. I’ve always taken my kids to an annual concert and now that they are grown…it is one of their favorite memories. We are going to Austin City Limits ($100/person) in October and it is so freaking worth it.

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