It’s always something

It’s hard for me to find a balance between living life to the fullest and being financially smart.

When my college basketball team is playing in a championship game at Madison Square Garden, of course I want to go. How often do I get to go to Madison Square Garden and how often do I get a chance to see a Minnesota team in New York? Probably won’t again.

When I hear Citizen Cope is playing an intimate concert downtown on a night I’m free and there is exactly 1 ticket left, of course I jump on that opportunity.

I want to go to my aunt and uncle’s to celebrate Easter with them on Sunday. I won’t be in New York forever so I love visiting as much as I can.

I know Dave Ramsey says “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.” I get that, I really do. But I don’t want to miss out on life so I can save. No one ever said “man, I wish I would have saved more money” on their death bed, right? One of my favorite things about New York is that there are so many things to experience that won’t happen anywhere else. I’m lucky to live here and I don’t want to waste this time in my life. But I don’t want to stay in debt forever.

A lot of the time my splurges are unexpected events come up at the last minute. I can’t plan for them but I don’t want to miss out. When I got tickets to the basketball game, I probably would have passed if I knew that a week later I’d be going to a Citizen Cope concert. But I found out about the concert just a day or two before, well after I had already gone to the game. If there was no concert then it would have been a pretty boring week and I would have been glad I went to the game. I’m not even sure if this makes sense but try to stick with me.

My spending money only covers so much and I can’t continue to take money from savings whenever I want.

I have to learn to say no sometimes and be ok with it. Simple as that. My question is, how do I figure out the balance between getting the most out of life and saving money?

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5 Responses to It’s always something

  1. Amanda says:

    True no one ever said they wished they'd saved more on their death bed…but I bet plenty of people retire and wish they'd saved more while they were working. I don't think it's a problem to take those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities while they come up when you can afford to, but remember, if you get yourself out of debt and start saving up, eventually you'll have more money to do those things that others can't because they never learned to say 'no' and save up instead. I struggle a bit with the same thing living in Germany though. It's hard to sit home some weekends when I know we're only here for a limited time. Four months in, we've only twice been outside our own city. There are trips going to neat places all the time, but they'd kill our budget to go, so we don't. It's a bummer sometimes now, but I'm sure we'll still get our fill of Europe more than some will have ever the chance to, and if we're smart about things now, hopefully we'll have other opportunities to come back in the future.

  2. Falon says:

    I think it sounds like you do a good job of managing your expenditures and you're right- no one ever died wishing they had saved more money!

  3. Cait says:

    I'm struggling with this BIG TIME right now… I only have $500 of credit card debt left and I'm already starting to feel the desire to do things that I haven't been able to do for the last year. Like get a manicure or go shopping or, like you, go to a concert. It also doesn't help that summer is just around the corner, which means patio season is starting… after spending the last two summers inside doing homework, I just want to go have a beer (or 5) out in the sun! But I'm going to have to watch my spending and also monitor my behaviours. There is no way I'm going back to the old me…Anyway, everything Amanda said in her comment is what I need to be reminded of on an almost daily basis now. I also think it's risky to say that no one dies wishing they had saved more because it almost taunts you to be impulsive. I say… enjoy NYC but just don't bring your credit card out with you. That usually helps me spend within my means.

  4. haven't we all been there? ; ) at the beginning, it's really hard. but eventually you learn what is worth a splurge and what isn't. i rarely spend money on little things anymore or even clothes shopping! but i do spend to go out with my husband and our friends because those experiences are worth it. Things? not so much. It's about finding the right amount of balance for you!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have this problem too! I'm sure it would be much worse if I lived in NYC where there always seems to be something awesome to do. I've started putting away a little bit each paycheck into my "fun fund." It's my emergency fund for doing fun things. I have a budget for each paycheck where I give myself some money to spend on whatever, but I found that by putting this extra away I don't tend to dig myself to as many holes.

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