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Swopping one False God for another ?

March 13th, 2011 at 10:25 pm

So we're all agreed here that:

1. Buying "stuff" unnecessarily only harms your financial future but also does nothing for your long-term happiness.

2. Debt should be avoided if at all possible.

3. Live below your means and you'll generally be ok.

Since I've become debt-free, I've acquired a new long-term Goal - to be Financial Independent - that is to say to not have to work for a living - to be able to live off the interests of my investments.

Given that my total financial worth (including retirement fund) at the moment is about 19,000 - that day is a LONG way away.

But today I've been wondering - isn't squirrelling away most of one's money now - postponement of living ? Do I want to be a rich 65 year old and to look back on 33 years of self-enforced deprivation ? What is the point ?

Isn't accumulation of 500,000 in a Savings account another type of "stuff". Yes it's more beneficial stuff but still the point is the same. I'm saying to myself "my life will be so much better and I will be free when I have X amount in the bank".

I don't know - recently I've came to believe again that this moment is all there is. The Future is only THIS moment later on - if you follow me.

I'm come across a bible quotation that doesn't receive much attention - probably mainly because it isn't guilt-ridden or prohibitive !!

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," MAT 6:34.

What do you think ?

I know Monkey Mama believes in striking a balance between now and then. But shouldn't NOW be primary as it is all there is and all there will ever be.

I'm not saying spend every cent you have now, I'm just saying denying the present moment in favour of a super-duper future is denying life itself.

Sorry if I'm rambling again ! :-)

9 Responses to “Swopping one False God for another ?”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Great insight. And yes, I follow you on the this moment being later also.

    Another thought to think of that might help us live in the now...there are unlimited resources. Money is not finite. There is always more. We tend to think that it is finite, but the truth is it is enough!

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    "1. Buying "stuff" unnecessarily only harms your financial future but also does nothing for your long-term happiness."

    I am not sure if I am in 100% agreement with this. "Stuff" in moderation is just fine. Stuff you don't need and can't afford isn't good.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    I am personally very happy with my life balance. I would say that my spouse and I live in the *now,* far mroe than the average person.

    Too often, people can't imagine that one can work, sacrifice, and prepare for the future while living in the now.

    #1 is enjoying my job. Day-to-day is not drudgery - I usually enjoy going to work.

    #2 is that we have slowed down considerably to enjoy our children. We have far more leisure and free time, as a family, than most people I know.

    #3 is appreciating the simplicities in life. A night out with friends, a day with our parents, a hike, a walk. I find daily joys in my life that do NOT cost money. Most of the things in my life that bring me happiness do not cost money.

    If I came into a bunch of money tomorrow, I honestly would have no use for it. My primary thought would be to save it for the future. Because I am extremely happy and content in the now.

    I really do think the key to this mindset is a deep understanding that spending more money won't make me any happier. So I don't have this struggle that I should be spending more money to enjoy my life now. & I mean on stuff OR experiences. Spending money does not make you happier, period. (Once you have achieved a basic level of comfort, anyway - food shelter, etc.).

    This is my life now, but I have worked very hard and sacrificed when I was younger, to get to this point. The thing is though the only thing that may matter is the *now*, the odds are I will be around for a while, and I want to make tomorrow happy too. But even during periods of hard work and sacrifice I have many happy memories.

    I think that's kind of the kicker. Most of us on the younger side will probably be around for a while. While I am all for being happy NOW and TODAY - I also would like to feel that way tomorrow too. Wink
    BUT, I have probably said before, I can not STAND the early retirement mentality. Work work work, drudgery drudgery drudgery, so I Can retire in 20 years. I couldn't do it. I rather just like my job and work forever. I find this way of living far more fulfilling.

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    I agree that today is all we have at the moment..And live each moment up because what could tomorrow bring or not bring?
    MonkeyMama is right that you have to find happiness in your life that isn't always related to money. I think that is key. Enjoy your life and have enough money to be comfortable.

  5. Petunia 100 Says:

    With my retirement goals, I am trying to maintain my current standard of living. So to reduce my standard of living now in order for it to rise in the future doesn't make sense to me. To live at a higher standard of living now while planning to have a lower standard of living later doesn't make sense to me. I am aiming for a straight line.

    Absolutely, you have to enjoy now because you have no guarantee of tomorrow.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Enjoy now, but don't let that enjoyment compromise your future. I think you have to do both -- live AND save for the future. I know people who live TOO much in the now and are always on the brink of ruin. Too scary for me!

  7. NJDebbie Says:

    It's all about balance. I noticed that I've loosen up a bit about money. Great post!

  8. Single Guy Says:

    I try to be reasonable about the money - I will put money into something I want. However I've found so many ways to get good things for less, I can still max out for retirement and not feel like I am sacrificing anything. (unless you call not eating out a sacrifice). And at this point I have most everything I could want. Now I am almost finished paying off my house (7 years ago it was at 90% of the original loan and it will be done by this fall), and I won't know what to do with the freed cash flow (don't worry, I'll figure something out). As the others said, if you don't go into hermit mode, but don't buy junk that doesn't make you happy, you really should do fine financially and spiritually. (thats my view anyway)

  9. Jerry Says:

    Enjoying life in the now, while not being insane about it and not mortgaging one's future for whimsical nonsense, is important and it leads to a more fulfilled life. I think it all boils down to having a firm sense of what leads to true happiness. Stuff isn't it. Experiences and family and love are the things that make it worthwhile, and if you can have some insurance of enjoying these elements of life while maintaining an even keel and planning for the future, then you are doing something right. Smile Jerry

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