Fribble What Money Can't Buy

By Jacki Stirn (
September 28, 2000

I haven't posted all that much at The Motley Fool lately. However, I sometimes go back and read some of the boards I used to frequent.

I remember posters questioning the quality of life for those who live below their means. I also remember someone pointing out that their quality of life didn't seem to be affected by tearing a dryer sheet in half. I agree: the quality of my life has never been affected by paying a lower price (or by tearing a dryer sheet).

This came to light recently as I was watching airfares because I needed to fly to an event for my daughter in November. $570 seemed way too high for me and I had time to see if patience paid off. It did -- I ended up paying $257 for that ticket. That one didn't even take extra time since I was checking the United Airlines website to try to choose flights for a trip for work. (Please don't take this as an endorsement for United; I live in a hub and have decided to shepherd all my miles on one program.)

My daughter is away at college and is in her second year. After an illness that seemed to be hanging on, I convinced her to go to the doctor. The diagnosis: mononucleosis. She seems to be okay, but I'm not. I bought a plane ticket and will be heading that way in the near future.

It really matters little to me how much the money I spend for this ticket will be worth when I'm 75. I have enough retirement money. Besides, it's been determined (scientifically, according to my family) that I'm not very good at not working. To paraphrase a post I came across: after you have enough, more isn't necessarily better.

So what can't money buy me? It can't buy me a hotel room in State College, PA on the night of a home football game. I'll be sleeping on her sofa.