More on living life

On another blog recently, a guest blogger posted about How My Net Worth Went from $-40,000 to $285,000 in Five Years.

The post is interesting, although many commenters questioned how that growth is possible – at least without a massive increase in real estate equity, which the blogger insists was not that significant.

What really interested me was comment #95. BobbyD wrote:

I’m a bit of a skeptic, too.

Not in the [sense] that I don’t think this guy could have “saved” that much money in that short amount of time (although it IS remarkable), but in the sense of “what kind of person would want to live like that in order to save that much money?”

People. Life is all you got. You can either feel guilty or enjoy it. If you feel guilty — and I don’t blame you, we got it too good here in North America compared to other places — then it doesn’t make sense to hoard all this money. Give it to charity, send it to Africa, or start a church.

If you don’t feel guilty — and I don’t blame you, we got some pretty sweet stuff to spend our money on here in North America — then SPEND SOME OF IT!

Dude, you need to enjoy a nice meal more than on a “special occasion”. Buy some nice wine. Try some imported food. Get a quality haircut. Get a facial and a massage. Play golf. Buy some nice art. Do something completely outrageous for your wife. Buy organic and local produce. Pretend you are trying to enjoy your life.

In short, enrich your life!

You should be ashamed that you have scrimped and hoarded so much to “save” all that money. You can do what you want, obviously, but that doesn’t mean you should be admired.

I’m not sure I agree that people with a big ol’ nest egg should be ashamed … but at the same time, over the past months, I’ve had a sense of “should I feel REALLY guilty every time I spend some of my money on something I enjoy?”

Frivolous, mindless spending, maybe. Especially if that’s all you do, all the time (I kinda think a little frivolity has its place).

But something that enriches your life? Something that makes you feel alive, or healthy, or happy?

It’s great to have your entertainment be free: Sitting around singing songs by candlelight after a delicious potluck dinner with friends would be lovely.

But I don’t think I have any friends who are into that, or who can muster the energy on a Friday night. (Do I? If so, call me. I can’t play the guitar, so that has to be your job. But if you get me a little drunk, I’ll sing with you. I think. Not that I’ve done that since summer camp.)

If I don’t have friends like that, what makes it so “wrong” to go out to dinner with friends? To see a movie? To take a little trip?

Do you live it up? Scrimp and save? A little of both? Fill us in!


3 thoughts on “More on living life

  1. Anna says:

    Both. Our thriftiness is the tool we use to insure our future security, and to fund our indulgences. We could indulge more and save less — we could save less and indulge more. Once the needs are met, it’s all a matter of living the life that’s right and happy for you.

    I think it is possible to go overboard with thriftiness, and end up living a money focused life, where the only value you place upon anything is how much it didn’t cost. I consider that as unbalanced as a money focused life in which the only value you consider is how much something does cost. Either way, too much importance is placed upon money.

  2. Jenna says:

    A little of both. Moderation in all things, including moderation.

    Once the bills are all paid and a bit is put aside, we do tend to spend more then we “have” to survive. I got asked a similar question not all that long ago and I think my answer is still true. I don’t want to survive. I want to THRIVE. Take a little more care, walk a little lighter… but a night spent out with friends laughing until we cry are as necessary as water and air to us. Some days can be as simple as a picnic by a stream with a few good friends (I’m lucky enough that I DO have folks to sit around a fire and sing and talk with. Ever make it to Northern Ohio come on by and join us. I’ll even pour some homemade honey wine to get you to sing along) and some days we’ll have saved up for a fancy dinner and a show.

    If the only reason to try and be greener or try to live cheaper is to just make it to the next day for ever… well. That isn’t really living.

  3. Cheap Like Me says:

    I agree with you both. And Jenna, good to see you back – I wondered where you’d gotten to! You’ll be on my list if I am in Ohio. I’ll bring a flask just in case. 🙂

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