You care about your finances.
That’s why you’re here, right?
We’re all in different financial positions, but likely you’re putting in a great deal of effort to make more money and to use that money responsibly.
If you’re in debt, you’re likely working hard to get out of debt. If you’re in the market for a house, you’re likely aggressively saving for a down payment. You might be socking your money away in a retirement account in the hopes that you can retire earlier than 65.
But are you taking the time to truly enjoy your life, and your money, now?
Take The Time And Money To Enjoy Your Life
Sure, there are plenty of irresponsible people in America who are driving cars they really can’t afford, living in houses they can’t afford and eating out every night. I’m not talking here about the spendthrifts. I’m talking about the people who are responsible with their money and yet are afraid to spend it.
CBS News states that financial “planners say that [hoarding money] is often a problem with wealthy and responsible older folks today: They’re so afraid of running out of money that they don’t enjoy the money that they have.”
If you’ve done everything right, have an emergency fund, don’t have consumer debt, and have a retirement fund that’s on track, you should give yourself permission to spend some money and enjoy your life.
“Money, after all, is a means to an end–not the end itself. You save it to make you, and the people you love, calm and comfortable. And it’s a lot more fun to take the kids and grandkids on vacation–or provide them with college money or other gifts while you’re around to get the hugs and kisses–than to know they’ll inherit a fortune after you die” (CBS News)
Not to be an alarmist, but we won’t be here forever. You never know when your time will come.
Yes, it’s imperative to plan for the future, but it’s also important to enjoy TODAY with those you love.
What If You Are Cleaning Up a Financial Mess?
What if you’re pulling your way out of debt? Should you still take the time to enjoy your life and spend money? Shouldn’t you put everything on hold until the debt is gone?
Dave Ramsey advocates gazelle intensity and sacrifice to get out of debt. I’m a big fan of Dave Ramsey, and I agree with him. . .to a point. However, if your debt can’t be demolished in 12 to 18 months, I don’t know that it’s practical to put your life on hold, especially if you have young children.
We’ve been paying down debt for 17 months now, and we still have at least two more years to go. Meanwhile, my kids are growing up before my eyes, and I no longer want to spend so much of my time working and making extra money. I’m still going to keep making extra money, but I also want to enjoy spending time with my family TODAY.
That doesn’t mean we’re being foolish and rash and planning a trip to Europe. (Don’t I wish!) Instead, we’re carving out time to do things locally as a family. We took the kids to a farm two hours away so they could learn about the animals and the working of the farm. This summer we’ll take them on a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s birth place home, which is just minutes from our home.
These activities don’t cost a lot, so they’re not taking away from our ability to get out of debt. In addition, spending time as a family is helping us get closer.
No matter your financial situation, make sure you take the time to enjoy your life now. Life is short, and it’s about so much more than money.
J P says
Great points you made. The difficult thing to know is at what point is “enough, enough”? I know there are people that have millions of dollars and still think they are broke because they know someone who has $5 million more than them. “If I only had…” It becomes a never ending cycle. Great article!
Tushar @ Everything Finance says
Money is a tool, that’s it. You’re absolutely right in that it’s incredibly important to remember to enjoy life while you have it, instead of constantly worrying about money. Money problems with always be there, but time won’t.
Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide says
While I agree in principle, I have to add a HUGE caveat to that because I so often hear people make this excuse when they aren’t just “living life” but really are “living life extravagantly.” I know people who used this excuse to get 5 new cars in the space of 4 years, as a family, while still having CC and student debt. Yes, you should have a fun budget, but you should also have a reasonable budget for everything else. People who have gotten into debt often have too great a sense of entitlement of what “reasonable” should be–otherwise, they wouldn’t have gotten into debt in the first place. There is a sense of great deprivation when you go from spending 120% of your income to spending 80%, but that doesn’t mean that 80% is wrong.
And I have to disagree that “money problems will always be there”, as Tushar wrote. Money problems are not the norm. Almost everyone will have some money problems at some point, but if you always have money problems, you need to re-evaluate everything that you are doing.
Jenny, I completely agree, which is why I said IF your financial house is in order. You’re right that so many people use this as an excuse to spend money now when they don’t have the money to spend.
KC @ genxfinance says
I quite agree. All of these money that we are saving will be useless if don’t live our lives fully. We won’t live forever and there are so much to enjoy, lots of places to go, and lots of new food to try. It’s good to save but yes, take the time to live as well.
What a great point! Many years ago when our kids were young, we were in debt & paying off our debt successfully albeit slowly. We still took vacations – trips to visit our families, camping in tents in state parks, going to local free beaches. Our lack of money was not an issue as we were thankful to be able to have the resources to pay down our debt and still enjoy our kids and our lives.