Enjoy life now or enjoy life later?

Flipping through the radio stations this morning, I happened upon a discussion regarding money (on our #1 pop station, no less). A caller was talking about how she and her husband came up from making a combined $22K/year to amassing over $1million in net worth. I came in on the tail end of her call, so I didn't get all of the details. The emcee was properly impressed, but then he asked what the point is of amassing that kind of dough if we're just going to die with it all? In other words, are we living just to save money? There was some ensuing discussion, but it got me to thinking.

I face this dilemma occasionally. I hate the idea that I am busting my butt to save money for retirement (discounting the debt payment) and I won't use it. What if I die when I'm 60? Then what? I am a cancer survivor, so this is closer to home than for a lot of people. I know that life is finite and that there is an end. BUT, I also know that life can go for longer than people anticipate.

So, to my topic question, why can't we have both? My goal is to save and live at the same time. I want to enjoy the life that I have now, but I also want to enjoy the life I'll have in the future. Amanda over at Young & Broke, seems to have a good balance; she travels often (my definition of living), but she also saves for her future.

But, first, to pay off that debt...



D said...

We have tried very hard to start "living" this year. Where as before we were only paying down bills, causing even more stress. For the time being we aren't moving ahead just getting by financially, but mentally we are getting ahead.

I think in order to complete obtain balance, debt elimination is the only way. This is my hope for 2007.

Clink said...

I ABSOLUTELY agree with you re the debt elimination.

Debt Hater said...

Yes, debt is like a ball and chain around your neck. You can pretend you're living it up, but a deeper hole awaits you the longer you try to ignore the debt.
And I have thought about this a lot too... if I can't go to Hawaii now, but I will be able to go when I'm 70, what's the fun in that?
I think it's not that simple. It is about balance. I know once I'm out of debt having fun won't be an issue. I still need to buy a house and properly save 10% of my income for retirement (15% - 20% more likely because I started late... can you believe 30 is late!), but I'm looking forward to my emancipation!

Clink said...

Yes, you put it very well - balance! Balance is the key to making it work.

That seems a good topic for a follow-up article.