As the plane is going down one passenger turns to the other and declares, “ I should have had that pizza”. I’m sure we’ve all heard that story or something similar. The main purpose being, to bring to mind that contemplative thought, do we make a decision based on the moment or plan for the future. After all, no one is promised tomorrow, and yet, we all know those rare individuals that despite unhealthy lifestyles manage to live well into their 80s or 90s. I found myself deep in that contemplative state the other day at our local Kroger, aisle 16 to be exact, the magazine aisle…do I buy the magazine? While for some this might seem like a simple decision, but if you’re anything like me it’s much more complicated. Why? Because I don’t see that magazine for what it is, the prospect of a future break to relax and read, no, I see it as a monetary value, what else could I purchase for the same price for someone else? Am I being selfish by thinking of myself, by wasting that money on me? What could my children or husband use or need that is the equivalent price of that magazine? How does one even begin to try and rationalize such a dilemma? In order to make the best well-informed decision we must reflect on the culmination of life experiences, other’s and our own, what we have witnessed over time, what we have learned from other’s mistakes, lifestyles, etc.
The following are 3 main points I contemplated in order to finally arrive at my decision. The decision making process is so fascinating and personal, when reading each point reflect on your personal take:
You’re not Promised Tomorrow
My personal take:
It was a cold March night in 1996. I was 16, I had just received my driver’s license and I couldn’t wait to tell my grandmother. See, she never received her license, she never drove, and we’d always talked about how much fun we were going to have once I received mine…I’d pick her up, we’d go to the mall and walk around, grab something in the food court, and have epic conversations. She was like that, you could talk to her about anything, she’d give you her undivided attention, and you always left feeling so much better about yourself, she was amazing! However, that evening instead of chatting about how we were going to be spending our future days with my new license we were saying our goodbyes. The entire family had gathered at my grandparents, after battling complications from type 2 diabetes, including dialysis and endless trips to the hospital due to congestive heart failure, hospice was called in and the entire family was notified. She was only 63. She had so much life ahead of her. And what was really soul crushing was the fact that after raising 7 kids together, my grandfather was just one year away from retirement, one year away from all their hard work paying off and them finally living out those retirement dreams together of endless hours with family, grandkids, travel, etc.
Conclusion: No one is promised tomorrow, the next day, or a long future. Live as if today is your first, last, and best day of your life. Buy the magazine.
Why Sacrifice and Always Save when Everyone else just Spends
My personal take:
I was raised by savers. My parents watched every nickel and dime. They sacrificed and went without when others were constantly buying new. To give you a point of reference, remember that old nasty couch on the Roseanne show? My parents rocked that couch for 15 years, meanwhile during that same course of time my friends’ parents received 3 seperate new living room sets. Growing up we had the generic cereal, we didn’t go out to eat unless it was a bday and we’d celebrate at Bill Knapps, come to think of it, I don’t know what age I was when I finally realized there were more restaurants besides Bill Knapps, lol! Long story short they worked really hard and saved and eventually we were able to move to a new home, my siblings and I all attended college, and our needs were met, NOT necessarily all our WANTS, but our NEEDS were met.
So here’s the thing, if you have two savers working together they can really make advances in their lifestyle over the course of time. True there are many sacrifices that need to be made initially and it can be hard watching everyone else go on awesome vacations, buy new cars, new houses, furniture, fancy purses, wardrobes, etc. but it will pay off in the long run. And you can still take vacations but they just might look a bit different, maybe it’s just a weekend here or there or a camping trip. One can still have a decent quality of life when they sacrifice and save. However, if a saver is coupled with a spender animosity will eventually brew and ferment the relationship. It’s hard for one person to always go without while the other finds a way to spend. Eventually that saver is going to get sick of going without, after all what’s the end goal for them, to just watch the sender enjoying themselves while they go without?
Conclusion: If you’re a saver paired with a saver don’t buy that magazine, that could be the equivalent of a date night together (true it’s not much money but savers are savvy, you’d be surprised what they can come up with for $5-$10). If you’re a saver paired with a spender, buy the magazine…chances are they already spend 2X as much on themselves.
There Isn’t an Award Ceremony at the End of Life,
My personal take:
Let me preface this by stating that I was blessed to have two amazing sets of grandparents, they loved us grandkids unconditionally, and I treasured my time with each. That being said they were very different. Each raised their children in a 3 bedroom household, the difference being one raised 7 children and the other 3. One raised 6 boys 1 girl and the other 1 boy 2 girls…thus one was definitely a boy household and the other a girl household which was apparent even long after their children were out of the home. The girl household was well, kinda like a museum. There were plastic runners on the carpeting as not to get any dirt on the actual carpeting, a cover on the chair, it was inviting, but also a bit intimidating as a child. I never really understood why they didn’t enjoy their carpeting, the feeling on their bare feet? It was as if they were guests in someone else’s house. Though I will give them made props, their home was always in tip top shape, it was gorgeous, just always struck me as odd that they never seemed to fully “live” in it. Fast forward 20 years and that immaculate home that they kept is currently in foreclosure by it’s new owner and in ruins. I can’t help but think of those years of them walking around in that museum quality home and for what? It’s not like there’s a reward banquet when we die and we receive a lifetime achievement for a perfectly manicured lawn or home? I suppose it all boils down to priorities. We all need to prioritize…where does our housework, lawn maintenance, mental health, self care, quality time with family, etc. fall on our list of priorities.
Conclusion: Mental Health is important and that includes self care especially when raising kids, and I suppose one could bust their butt and always put the housework, lawn, etc. before their own self care, but why? It’s not like you’re going to receive an award at the end of your life for those sacrifices. Thus, final conclusion, buy the damn magazine!!!
And there you have it, that is my twisted cycle of trying to make a decision on whether I should spend money on myself, lol! Now, if I was spending it on other’s chances are that the process wouldn’t be as contemplative. Does anyone else do that? Do you find it hard to justify spending money on yourself? How do you make that final decision on whether or not to buy that cup of coffee, magazine, or that slice of pizza?