Imagine a person going on a longish journey…say a 3 hour bus journey from destination A to destination B.
His aim is obviously to get a nice seat, preferably a good cushioned window seat in the front part of the non air-conditioned bus.
In reality Mr. X gets into an extremely crowded bus, and he is lucky that he has one leg in the bus. He is precariously hanging out and praying to God that he does not fall off the bus. A little time later and about 10 minutes into the journey he gets to keep his other leg too and is in a more secure position. Now he wants to stand comfortably so that he is comfortable. About 30 minutes into the journey that wish is also fulfilled and he now wants to be able to hold well and stand without anybody falling on him when there is a sudden brake.
About an hour into the journey a kind man allows him to sit and our friend now wants a full seat. About 2 hours into the journey he gets a nice seat to sit, but no window seat. About 2 and a half hours into the journey he gets a window seat. He now wishes that the seat were on the other side – because the sun is on the side where he is sitting.
Obviously this story is connected to personal finance. I have seen very, very few people enjoy what they have. Money, fame, success, time with children, time with family – all these are precious. Just to save some money do not trouble the people around you. Your child’s 4th birthday will come only ONCE. If it is hot you need a fan or airconditioning. If it is cold you need heating. If your family likes to watch a movie, you need to go and take them along.
There is no point that at 59 you say…I have accumulated a lot of money, but my family members hate me because I did not spend any TIME or any MONEY along with them. Remember if your car journey was from a Maruti 800 to a Merc, you should have enjoyed all your cars. Your M 800 would have had the experience of you as a learner, trying to drive up the gradient, learning parallel parking, etc. Your Esteem would have memories of your marriage and perhaps bringing your newborn from the hospital….THESE ARE IMPORTANT, not the car. You pay money and buy a car. You spend time and accumulate memories.
So go and have some fun. Yes savings, investing are all important. However if you are earning money one important thing to remember is that your family is looking forward to enjoy it with you. Go and Just Do It.
This post was triggered when I met a couple. The wife reads my blog and has guilt pangs about spending. This has meant that they cannot go on vacations, eating out, etc.
My take is – do what YOU enjoy. Do remember that you have to provide for your old age, kids monetary requirement, etc…..but DO NOT be a miser. No point in regretting at age 77 and saying ‘I have a lot of money and lot of regrets that I did not use my money’. No cure for that. Tch, tch…
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