Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Delayed Gratification?

Last night over dinner I was discussing with our new house guest whether we should have enjoyed our 20s more or if we spent it too conservatively saving and being responsible. He told me that he's enjoying his money, freedom, and time now because when you are 40+ you won't be able to backpack everywhere and travel.

I mulled this over and decided he's right. He's seen pretty much everywhere, but has no money saved, no assets, no debt. He's a very frugal guy, and travels as cheaply as possible. But it still takes a lot of money. If you asked him what he spend on traveling, I think over the last 7 years at least $10-15k/year on traveling.

Now while I believe that I could never have spent that much on travelling even if I had, the money, I wonder if my reluctance to be a wild 20-something didn't stem from meeting my soul mate? Thus I felt that I needed to grow up, save for a wedding, house, car, children. That my future seemed more realistic and tangible than my friend's?

That perhaps if he were dating or in a serious relationship, that he would not be able to just travel? I mean if his future wife said I'd like to buy a car or a house, he probably would have to sacrifice a few annual trips. So is it really that some people are carefree and others are not?

Or is it that some people already have a life plan in their 20s, a person to share their life with, and thus are unable to really let go and enjoy their money? I mean if we didn't buy a house, cars, and wedding, we could have travelled the world already. But would I be happy worrying about having kids, college, retirement, etc right now if I had done that? Would I feel as though I had really grown during my 20s or wasted it?

I haven't quite figured it out yet. But I think my wandering soul meet the right person a bit early so I was unable to really spend money carefree.


Moneymonk said...

Life is what you make it. Travel now or travel later. Just remember either way you have to pay a price.

Try to do both if you can. Have fun and still save for the future.

Generate more income if needbe. I did a post on this Eat Drink and Be Merry!

Anonymous said...

Your friend is going to be in for a rude awakening when he gets older. What would anyone rather do: work and put money away when you are young or work and put money away when you are old? I choose the former. I'm in my early 50's and am doing all my traveling now. House is paid for, kids are out of college and on their own, I've got money in the bank, money for retirement and I work less NOT more. I'm not living almost large, I am just 'living large'.
Youth is wasted on the young.
Keep doing what you are doing LAL- you and your DH are on the right path!

Living Almost Large said...

I'm not going to generate more income. For us Generation Xers, we're about time together and family. DH will not sacrifice us for more money, we'll just have to make do with what we earn.

I think boomie, that it's partially our friend has very few needs, lives super frugally, and if he were to retire it would be minimal the amount of money needed.

Where he'll run into problems is when it's time to settle down. But hey maybe he'll never settle down. After all he's already 30 and still single. Not even dating, and that I think plays a role in maturity.

When you have to go to work at a regular hour so you can come home to your family. Where you don't go and work from 4 pm to 12 pm becuase you'd like to see your children. You'd like to have dinner. You'd like to raise your kids in a house instead of a condo. Where you'd like to not rent but buy a home for stability.

I think that is when a lot of changes come. I like our guest a lot, and I'm jealous of his lifestyle. But I realize it does with a loneliness factor I'm not sure I could personally deal with.

Outa Debt Oregonian said...

Actually it's all relative. The best way to look at it is to do what works for you. Your friend had a different path- not better, not worse- just different.
And I absolutely agree with Boomie saying your friend may have a rude awakening. He may die tommorow and then saving and hoarding and waiting till 'later' to fulfill his dreams would be a rude awakening.
Don't compare...just live life wide and juicy in whatever way works for you.