One of the more common financial moves is to save up as much money as possible, hoping to have a huge nest egg later so that it's possible to retire from work, and maybe even travel the world. Others hope that, not only can they have a little fun with the money they amass, but that they can also leave some behind for their posterity.
These are definitely admirable goals. Being able to save up money, and creating a situation in which you can leave a financial legacy to your children and grandchildren, are both things that can provide you with a sense of accomplishment — as well as acting as a testament to your level of financial responsibility. But does it have to be that way? Do you have to sacrifice everything right now so that you can save up for the future?
For some people, it is preferable to live a little more now, enjoying money while they are young, than to be scrimping and saving for a future they're not even sure they'll enjoy.
Mini-Retirements, Vacations, And Staycations
Instead of saving up all of your money for “someday,” you can spend some of your money now. One of the ideas that has caught on recently is that of the mini-retirement. Instead of saving up for 40 years to try and enjoy retirement later, some advocate mini-retirements. You spend between three and six months living somewhere else, or traveling around. When you return, you look for a new job.
Others make it a point to use their vacation time at work. It's possible to enjoy a vacation for one to three weeks, relaxing and taking it easy. And, many people like to spend a little extra to make the vacation particularly enjoyable or memorable. Some even decide to go on staycations, remaining within a local area, and living it up by going to restaurants and other establishments.
Spending money like this provides you with the opportunity to enjoy yourself in doses at a time, spread out over the years, while your health practically guarantees that you are able to do more. Personally, this is how I prefer to operate. I like to go on a few trips, and I like to go out to eat in nice restaurants, as well as use my money for other things. I figure we might as well enjoy the journey.
Don't Neglect The Future
Even if you decide to spend a little more money now so that you can better enjoy it, you still shouldn't neglect the future. Use tax-advantaged retirement plans that allow you save up some money for your future. Get the right insurance plans to help you prepare as well. We don't plan to need a huge nest egg, but we know that we'll need something.
Another strategy is to cultivate different income streams so that when retirement comes, you have regular income, and you don't have to rely on your nest egg alone. Being able to consult or freelance, or having a dividend portfolio, can help you earn money in retirement, and means that you aren't required to always be maxing out your retirement plans right now at the expense of living a little.
I’m an advocate of enjoying life now AND saving for the future. I don’t see why we can’t do both! So many people try to save every little penny only to see life just wilt away or there are those that blow many away now on enjoying life only to not see a penny in retirement.
But why must the discussion resort to absolutes? And I don’t mean in the blogosphere, I mean in the general populace. I think we can do a both at the same time, responsibly and enjoyibly.
The Retired Landlord says
My wife and I have lofty goals of retiring early on real estate investments – but we always make sure to take at least 1 week off on vacation because you never know if you will get another chance.
I can’t decide what I’d rather do. I would like to save up for later, but I think that the life of austerity some people live to do it would not work for me. Right now my family is working on the multiple income streams. Lofty goals and high hopes!
I might be dead tomorrow. Be smart and save when possible, but these are the best days of your life. Who cares if you have $10 million in the bank when your 70. You won’t have the desire or energy to do anything with the money.