big spendersPeople with a hole in the hand come in all shapes and sizes. One wants to improve his life, the other sees it as a hobby to let the money flow freely, another thinks it is important to think as little as possible about money and to live in the ‘now’: spend it while you’ve got it! In this new series tell big spenders their story. This week: Peter Beukering (31) who likes to experience luxurious experiences together with his girlfriend Stephanie Smolders (30).
You consider yourself a big spender, while everything you own fits in a few suitcases. Explain.
Peter: ,,Experiences make us happier than stuff. We invest everything we earn in unique, often luxurious experiences. In the meantime, due to various circumstances, our travel pattern has switched from full-time to three months traveling, three months at home.”
Have you always been like this?
“Six years ago we were exactly the opposite: big house, big car, designer clothes.”
“Two things happened that changed my life: a friend who died in a car accident while volunteering in Madagascar and another friend who put me in my place. He thought my character had changed since we grew up together.”
,,We were going to a Formula 1 race in Belgium with a group of friends. But I could get a VIP ticket for myself through work, then I would meet Max Verstappen instead of sitting in the stands with my friends. That friend sent me a message that if I felt that I should surround myself with people who don’t matter, I wanted to play the man, then he didn’t know the value of our friendship. I am very grateful to him for that, it shook me awake. Through those two events, Stephanie and I packed our bags and embarked on a journey that continues today, six years later. We decided to enjoy things that have real value.”
How did you handle that?
“We gave everything we had away to welfare families. We placed an advertisement on Marktplaats with photos of our house, with the message: come and get it. Most of the stuff went away for 1 euro. Within a month our house was empty and we left.”
We definitely don’t work hard but we don’t always lie on the beach with our lazy ass either
How did your environment react to this?
,,Positive. From friends and family the comment was: do it! You are still young now. My in-laws thought: they will come back in a year. Not so.”
Do you work?
“Besides charities in money and action, for local organizations, we both work remotely: I as interim director at startups and scale-ups and Stephanie as a marketing consultant. We don’t work hard at all, but we don’t always lie on the beach with our lazy asses. But if we want to go to Bali for two weeks, we will do that.”
What do you like to spend money on?
,,To special experiences in hospitality. I think we’ve had about two hundred stays in ultra-luxury hotels. The best thing is to stay in a unique place. For example in the eco-resort Six Senses, in the north of Oman, where we went paragliding. It was behind the mountains, on the water – an oasis of luxury in the desert. About 600 euros per night. We stayed there for a short week but it was more than worth it.
Or dinners at star restaurants. I think we have visited them all over the world in the last 1930s.”
And do you always fly business class?
,,We have the policy: if a flight is shorter than three hours, then no. Until six o’clock we upgrade with extra legroom, for example. If it is longer than six hours, it is usually business class. That is not the same with every airline, but then we want the type of seat that is also a bed.”
Are you used to that luxury from home?
,,Not at all. I come from an ordinary middle-class family. There was one income because my mother did not work. On holidays we went to the campsite with a caravan.”
Did you long for more?
“Growing up, it seemed unfeasible that I would ever fly business class or experience a suite with a private butler. Now that’s pretty standard. You don’t have to be a millionaire to do that sort of thing every now and then.”
“The wow effect remains. The great thing is, we can look back on experiences through photos and videos and then it’s like reliving it. The purchase of the latest iPhone may have given me a kick at the time, but afterwards I don’t feel anything about it anymore. Such a purchase is instinctively worth nothing in the long run. That is the difference. When I look back at the end of my life and see what we have all seen and done, the latest television or designer clothes are nothing at all.”
Feel like going on vacation? Bas Knopperts of Independer gives you all the insurance tips to be able to travel without worries this summer:
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