Stop & Smell the Roses | 05.28.08
What do you do with your tax return money, unexpected bonus, or $20 bucks Nana kicks you when you come to visit? Do you catch up on bills? Do you buy clothes? Do you go on an eating safari and hit all your favorite bakeries? My buddy Brian joked with me recently that he’d be getting back just barely enough from his government stimulus check to fill his gas tank once. I actually heard this week the national average may hit $4 per gallon by the summer, yikes! My southern friends have it right; saddle up and take your horse to work. I wish I could do that. In Boston that’s not a realistic option unfortunately. Although I suppose if I had to pick up after them like dog owners with a scoop and bag that would be an unpleasant “Jurassic like” experience.
What I do when I have a surplus of money is sock 60% of it away. I start a car payment fund, rainy day fund, or vacation fund. It’s amazing how fast that adds up. You can do the same thing with loose change too. It all adds up so quickly.
The other 40% I spend on me. I buy that golf shirt, take the Mrs. to dinner, or just buy an ice cream cone. Ah, life’s simple pleasures.
It’s really a balancing act of sorts. You’re living for today but planning for tomorrow. Spend too much money and you may end up on the streets if you lose your job. Spend too little and you’ll think you’re missing out while your friends get to have all the fun.
Once you find that healthy balance you’ll feel a lot better. Saving is nice, but you have to live too people. To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life move’s pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it.”
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