Spending Money Does NOT Equal Happiness

You could die tomorrow, so enjoy your life today…..

You can’t take it with you when you go….

When I talk to family/coworkers about investing, inevitably I get one or both of these responses as to why I shouldn’t worry about saving.  At first when I was told either, I would be stumped.  Not because of how prophetic and witty the responses were, but because of how little sense they made.  How is this lifestyle philosophy a justification for living paycheck to paycheck?  Many spout similar cliches as a defense mechanism used against looking inward at whether they were properly utilizing their resources.

You could die tomorrow, so enjoy your life today…..

How does saving money and investing it diminish enjoyment of life?  For me, being broke and anxious about impending bills undermines my happiness.  Having a bigger shiny box to drive around would put a smile on my face.  Up until the $600/month payment came due, and I realized how many hours of my life I would have to trade to pay for my behemoth truck.  Hours I would rather spend on my own terms, not my employers.

Money invested properly today yields more money in the future.  Most of us trade our time for money in the form of an hourly paycheck.  Thus, money invested today yields more time in the future.  I believe time to be our most valuable asset, so why do most of us waste it on things we don’t need?

You can’t take it with you when you go….

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!

You don’t take your investments or debt with you to the grave.  You go, both stay behind for your spouse.  Would it be best to leave your loved ones a steady income stream to help them?  Or would you rather leave them with crippling debt payments?

I feel that I am supposed to be a provider for my wife and children.  It would be exceptionally selfish of me to leave them without a means to continue to be safe and secure in life if my paycheck goes away.  Instead, I save as much of my check each week as possible in an effort to create income streams to sustain my family whether I go to work or not.  I also carry enough life insurance to pay off our largest debt, our mortgage.  If I’m not here tomorrow, financial stability will not have to be an additional worry to my loved ones.

Spending Does NOT Equal Happiness

A person who makes minimum wage can be just as happy as someone making a million a year.  Happiness is not spending all your cash on material possessions.  It’s being truly satisfied with what you have.  I maintain that contentment with where your are and where you are headed is exceptionally important for a persons quality of life.

Discontentment creates a void that needs to be filled.  

I am perfectly happy with where I am in my life.  Having aspirations and a detailed plan on how to achieve them has allowed me to have exceptional optimism about where I am going.  This is something I did not have when I was simply interested in what I could buy with my income.

Soul searching as to the root cause of your actions is extremely important.  Are you buying that F150 for the right reasons?  Or are you buying it as a restaurant truck, just because your afraid others may think your not successful.  Did you get that name brand purse because of it’s quality or so that others will know you spent $500 on it.

I’m perfectly happy driving my 9 year old car that just went over 100,000 miles.  It’s reliable, gets solid gas mileage and best of all is paid off.  Instead of worrying about the next payment being due, I’m steadily putting cash back for my next vehicle.  Which will also be reliable, and definitely not more than I need.

Yet, I’m still not sure how to properly answer such responses.  To outright say that makes no sense would alienate them.  To say that’s so right would give false reinforcement to something I do not believe.  So, I still just stare back blankly in befuddlement.  Maybe one day I’ll have feedback that gets my point across without belittling their lifestyle.

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