Monday, June 5, 2017

More Balancing of the Now and Future

Life has been a whirlwind lately. Work is crazy and I am counting down the days until July when, prepared or not, all changes go into place. I've got two business trips and a mini vacation to squeeze in as well. Still, life needs to be lived so I do not want to cancel the mini vacation just because work is crazy. It will be thrifty as we'll be at the extra cabin with the only extra costs a few tanks of gas for the pontoon, extra food for DD2's friends coming along, and a trip into the little town for pizza and ice cream. 

I splurged by spending $250 on Journey concert tickets as an early birthday gift for DH. The concert is July 1, and his birthday isn't until August, but Journey was, is, one of his top three bands. It was an opportunity I could not let pass by. That will show up on the June credit card about to come any day now. I probably should spring for a cigarette lighter too, but I guess no one uses real lighters and just cell phones now for the epic song tributes. I'm kidding on that part. DD2 auditioned and was placed on the varsity show choir group for next year. We are so pleased and proud of her, but the cost is double what this past year had been as they have more elaborate costumes, have two additional competitions, and travel out of state. We will have added travel costs to see her as a couple of the competitions will require an overnight stay. Some of those fees are due this summer. DS still isn't fully committed to being back for his cousin's wedding, but if so, we'll help him with his travel costs, plus more meals when we head up north. Can anyone else hear the cha ching of a cash register going off in their head?

Still, I don't want to say no to these life experiences. To make it work, I'm compromising on things like regular groceries (wrote about that in yesterdays post), household stuff, clothing, and entertainment. I never eat out for lunch any more-not even the occasional one, though still have coffee house meetings from time to time. DH and I still need date nights, but they will be our wine club, already budgeted for, home movie and popcorn nights, a cocktail sitting out on our wonky deck, and the rare thrifty meal out. DD2 is excited for the opportunity she has for show choir and family travel but understands financial limitations, so has done thrifty things, which summer and nice weather help, with her friends like bon fires, hikes and snacks in the great local parks or river trail, the beach, or just having her own movie nights. We are fortunate that she seems to have adopted friends that care about experiences and spending time together over expensive stuff, so it makes it easier to raise a teen without feeling expectations to spend. 

I used to worry about money, despite really never going without essentials. Still, I tended to let long term savings goals freeze me from investing in today's living. April and May were kick you in the gut months-forced me to decide what matters most, and what I want most. Life today is expensive; retirement will be expensive, so I can't afford to waste money. More importantly though, I can't afford to waste time now, and these together are my greatest balancing act. 

5 comments:

  1. Since everyone here is grown and gone and I can look back at what was important, I think the wisest money we ever spent was on experiences. It is something I strongly encourage in my younger friends. I have never heard my sons sit around and bemoan some item they didn't have, but I have heard them recount (numerous times) things we did.

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    1. Even our bad adventures are brought up fondly-pneumonia, torrential rain, mud slides and power outages in the Black Hills. Yes, experiences and now to purge to raise some funds!

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  2. I agree with both you and Anne. Experiences are so much more valuable than things. Last year a friend I met in my early days in Switzerland came out here to celebrate her 60th birthday. This year, her also 60-year-old husband is terminal - he only has a few weeks to go. A friend of theirs drove all the way up to the north of England to visit her husband one last time, and when the friend drove home that weekend he dropped dead of a heart attack. It puts things in perspective. You have to be reasonable/sensible because retirement doesn't just pay for itself, but I'll take experiences over things any day. Anna

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    1. That's why it is my balancing act. I want to be prepared but not miserly and a shut in.

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    2. I think the worst possible thing anyone can do is to refuse to live in the now, choosing to sock everything away for the future. You're right it is about balance.

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