At what point does our propensity for savings and frugality start to affect our ability to enjoy life in the now? I could give you 100 examples on 100 blogs about finance of how to save money, make money, grow your own food, etc. Finance books talk about how American’s desire to accumulate things has made us debt ridden and destitute.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating debt or excessive spending. My concern is that people are moving towards one extreme or the other. You either spend excessively or save excessively. I am in debt, if I were to be playing the Dave Ramsey game I should sell my boat, and pay off my student loan. Once my student loan is paid off I should then put 15% into retirement, fully fund my emergency fund, save for college etc. etc. etc.
I like my boat, I am addicted to the water, I grew up on regular trips to one of the Great Lakes, and then I moved into the southeast where there is rivers everywhere. I want to enjoy my life now and later, I plan for my future and make small sacrifices today to create the “financial independence” so sought after for my future.
I invest for my retirement, I pay off my debt, I save for my childrens future and I have fun. Life is too short to spend every day worrying about what that $100 could be if you saved it. If you have the cash and it is going to bring some value to your life, buy it. I say take one day a month or a quarter and splurge, not a lot, but get yourself something. Buy an iPod or an iPhone, or a new wakeboard buy something you will use and enjoy. While it may not provide you monetary security, the psychological effect of enjoying your life responsibly will be well worth it.
I am taking tomorrow off from posting, things are getting crazy and I need some time to get ahead. Fear not I will be back. Additionally I am out of town for a long weekend this week and am looking for anyone interested in submitting a Guest post, I need at least two to cover. If you are interested drop me an e-mail with a description of your proposed post. Thanks