Why we buy concert tickets – instead of cars


Montreal is an amazing city if you like concerts and shows. It’s an amazing city for a lot of other reasons too. But one thing that’s not amazing is its traffic. So today, I’ll tell you why we’d rather spend our money on concert tickets than a car (or a home, for that matter).

“Oh my God, Daniel, here you go again with your anti-car speech!”

No, that’s not the point I’m making today. I want to show you that when we’re the masters of our own money, we decide whether we’ll own a car or attend amazing concerts (because not everyone can do both, you know).

“You’re rich!”

This summer, I told a friend we were attending the Louis CK live show during the Just for Laughs Festival. His reaction surprised me: “Lucky bastards!” I replied, “I know it’s hard to get tickets for some events because they sell out fast, but if you subscribe to certain newsletters, you can get them in advance.” I’m not sure this was the kind of ‘luck’ he was talking about, though.

The other day, my wife and I told another friend that we’d seen several concerts this year already and were waiting for a few more. He asked how much tickets for each concert cost.

“Anywhere from $80 to $500, but we never pay more than $200 each,” we said.

“Oh, you’re rich!” he said, clearly disappointed.

But the truth is we’re not rich. Far from it, by Statistics Canada’s standards. We simply made a choice about what to spend our money on.

We can have it all, but…

The great Oprah once said, “You can have it all, but not at the same time.”

When we write down our priorities, owning a car is not even close to the top of the list. I would say it’s not even on the list. Sometimes we think about it during the winter, but then we see people shovelling their cars out in the morning and we change our minds again.

I think the real reason we don’t want a car is that to us, the experience of attending concerts and shows, making memories together, and supporting the artists who helped us build our cultural background is way more important than owning a car. Heck, I’ve seen Queen perform live in the same city where the classic 1980 concert was recorded! I’ve cried listening to Sir Elton John and Adele, and I’ve seen Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, The Nutcracker, the Montreal Symphony, Seinfeld, and many, many more.

I wouldn’t have had all these opportunities if I still lived in Brazil. Maybe this is a major reason I spend this money. I could have had a car back in Brazil (even though I didn’t want one), but these experiences are unique. I’d never exchange them for a car!

If I had a car (or even a mortgage) here in Montreal, I’d probably think twice before shelling out $200 for a ticket.

But I don’t.

While most people spend $400 a month on a car or (in most cases, and) $1500 on a mortgage, we rent, use public transportation, and attend concerts. Life is good.

We chose to live like this. We chose to track our spending and make these decisions. We chose to be the masters of our universe, and that includes staying on top of our money.

Until you understand it’s all a matter of choice, you’ll struggle. You choose how you live your life. You choose how you make, manage, and spend your money.






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