Recently, an acquaintance was killed in an accident.
She was biking with a group when she and the others were hit by a car. Half of the group died. Sadly, she was only in her early 40s and left behind young children.
However, this woman (I’ll call her Rebecca) LIVED her life. She was always active and spent time doing the things that she enjoyed. She regularly biked. She took trips around the country to go hiking, which she loved. She lived a very full life that unfortunately ended much too early.
Since Rebecca was very close in age to me, I started thinking of my own life. What I saw were a lot of hopes and wishes, but not a lot of action. What I saw was a lot of living for the moment that wasn’t as satisfying as consciously planning my life and my activities.
My guess is that many of us run our lives the same way, unlike Rebecca.
How Do You Spend Your Money Every Day?
Money is a tool, but many of us forget that.
Perhaps you fantasize about taking that long awaited trip to Europe, but you push that goal back and think, “Maybe when I retire.” You have a dream to do something you’re interested in and passionate about, but you’re not willing to put in the time and hard work to get there.
One of my friends can’t wait to go to Italy as that’s the country her ancestors came from. She saves all of her change in a jar for the trip, so she IS saving some, which is more than many people do, but that is all she’s doing. She still goes out to eat four or five times a week; she goes gambling once a month; and she regularly goes shopping for clothes. Yet if you ask her if she enjoys doing these things, she is non-committal. Eating out and gambling regularly are not fun, exciting events for her. They are just her habits. She has traded today’s habits for a fun trip she’s really looking forward to that could create lasting memories.
Do you do this, too?
How To Use Your Money To Enjoy Your Life
If you enjoy eating out five nights out of seven, then please continue. However, many of us let habits built around very short-term pleasures guide our financial decisions. If you want to truly LIVE your life the way you’d like and in a way that creates memories, consider asking yourself these questions:
What do I REALLY want to do with my life? Another way to ask this is, “If I were to die today, what would I be sorry that I didn’t do or accomplish in my lifetime?” Your answer here is the goal that you should try to achieve.
How can I reach this goal? Ask yourself what concrete steps you need to take to realize your goal. How much will the goal cost to do? How can you raise that money? Where can you cut expenses? What can you stop buying in a habitual, non-satisfying way?
God willing, we all live to a nice, old age and we have the time to reach our goals. For too many of us though, our dreams and goals will simply slip away, unrealized while we struggle through today and our daily spending habits.
Even though it’s tragic that Rebecca left behind two young children, her parents can rest in the peace that she lived a very full life filled with the events that gave her the most joy. If you died today, could the same be said for you?