When I uploaded a comment on the social media post with a message on how dangerous I believed this was and asking people to comment on their experiences, I was inundated with direct messages.
They included stories of people who have read this quote and taken out a loan for $25,000 to go travelling and now find themselves in debt with nothing to show for it.
Stories of people who decided to live for experiences and now find themselves on their 40s, with children, and unable to buy their own home.
Stories of parents who are frustrated by their children travelling because, while they are insisting they are rejecting materialism, they are still hitting mum and dad up for cash, furniture and even clothing because they are broke.
A 2017 McKinsey study showed that over the past few years, personal-consumption expenditures on experience-related services — such as attending spectator events, visiting amusement parks, eating at restaurants and travelling — have grown nearly four times faster than expenditures on goods.
And while consumers of all ages are opting for experiences, it is millennials who are leading the charge.
A May, 2016 McKinsey consumer survey found that the average millennial outspends the average Gen Xer and baby boomer on travel, entertainment and fitness-related memberships.
The problem for millennials is that in an era of fast-paced change, the opportunity to do something now — to travel, indulge, embrace wellness and enjoy life — is far more enticing than saving for a vague notion of your future. One you are not even sure you can afford.
I get that is de-motivating. The problem is, you need to get over it and create a new financial paradigm. Not one based on a social media delivered con.
The truth is, for those of you in your 20s and 30s, you shouldn’t travel believing your money will return.
In fact, when you are young, it takes longer and longer for your money to return. That’s because the benefits of compound interest when you are in your 20s can’t be recouped over time — it’s a young person’s super power.
It is going to cost you a whole lot more dough as you get older, which means you might have a fabulous time now but your future self is going to be pissed.
So, what’s the answer? Am I suggesting that we all don grey suits, take out huge mortgages that will take decades to repay and work ourselves into an early grave?
Of course not. That’s precisely what millennials are rejecting. Instead, the truth, as it so often does, lies somewhere in-between. That means rejecting notions like the social media message and instead choosing to prioritise our financial wellness — with the same esteem and vigour that we prioritise physical wellness.
How we do that is to plan for travel and physical wellness and to save for it. Just as importantly, we need to plan for our future financial wellness and to save for that, too.
Take the example of two of my friends: One who is in her early 30s and has a plan to pay her house off before she hits the big 4-0 but loves travel and adventures.
She’s rejected buying her dream house and instead plans longer overseas trips every other year and takes loads of cheaper mini trips and weekend adventures that often include driving, biking and camping. That way she will reach her saving goal of being debt free but she is also indulging in her love of travel and wellness.
Another friend who had a health scare and instead of purchasing an expensive eating plan and gym membership has chosen to move regularly every day and is working with his doctor on a sensible eating plan. He’s valuing his wellness but not at the expense of his financial health.
I believe it’s time we stopped fooling ourselves into believing that spending on adventures, travel, yoga, the latest active wear or expensive juice cleansing fad to the detriment of our financial selves is less frivolous than spending on the latest handbag.
The truth is, they are both going to drain your bank account and, possibly, affect your financial wellbeing which, in turn, will affect your physical health.
Instead, it is time we started to turn our back on the travel junkie, active wearing, social influencers and decide instead to invest and prioritise both our financial and physical wellness.
Melissa Browne is CEO of A&TA and financial planning firm The Money Barre.
Melissa Browne is an accountant, adviser, author and shoe addict.