Scared of Money

This is about getting the most out of life for the least amount of money. And doing it with a bit of style.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Borrowed Time

More on spending philosophies...

Live life today and put off saving or ensure you don't have to worry about retirement? This is a great discussion traveling around the blogosphere. This again reminds me of my parent's spending philosophies.

In October 2004, my Mom passed away from cancer. She had a prolonged illness that lasted 5 years. Not once did she have to worry about about not working, paying her bills (medical or otherwise) or making sure that my sister and I would be fine. Her life long frugality paid off in the end and gave her great comfort of mind to know that she was ok financially.

During that same time period my Dad took a trip to Europe that he simply couldn't afford. He paid for it with his credit card when he should have been saving for retirement. He had been living beyond his means since the divorce 5 years before. Three months after my Mom passed away I got called at work by my sister to let me know that my Dad was in the ER for a bladder infection. I talked to him and he was fine. An hour later I call back to learn he has had a massive heart attack. He didn't make it through the night.

I'm so glad my Mom was ok financially during her illness and my Dad didn't wait until he retired to take that trip to Europe. Their decisions worked out for them in the end. In my life, I want to be able to enjoy life now but never have to worry about financial stability.

But ALWAYS at the back of my mind is the fact that we are all on borrowed time. There is no guarantee that you will wake up to enjoy tomorrow. Young and healthy? Me too. Death doesn't care. Life is like a two-lane highway and the line keeping us from death isn't as powerful as we believe it is. An SUV easily crosses over and we will fail to exist.

Morbid? Yes. But true. You don't have to blow $1,000 on dinner to get the most out of life but if you're on target financially, make sure you don't turn down experiences that you will regret later. I save for retirement so I can enjoy life later but I also grab every chance I get to enjoy it now.

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