In today’s society it seems that “Keeping up with the Jones'” is the norm. But the Jones’ we don’t know their story as much as we do our own.
I wrestle with the choices I made to live well beneath my means despite what banks told me was within my means. Had I listened to them I would be a giant stress ball worried about money all the time. Instead I chose to choose practical means which allowed the small indulgences every day. (Like eating out regularly, having that treat purchase every now and then and knowing I had a padding in my account for any emergency)
We could have bought the house in the 200K arena but would have lived on boxed mac and cheese nearly every day to keep afloat.
I wanted the luxury car but chose the practical options with the high mpg and the exceptional safety rating and reliable trade in rate to keep protecting the finances.
I look back on it now and wonder, should I have risked it all with testing the limit for my vanity? And I have to say no.
If I had to do it over, I would have chosen to set aside money instead of going out for more vacations. Travel to wonderful places. The one regret I have in life is that I did not explore enough. I did not take the time off when allotted to rest and take care of me.
I worked so very hard for 30 years with no stamps in my passport. Not many great travel memories.
What I recommend is that you do that very thing. Take vacations — make memories outside of the day to day. Get out of Dodge as much as you can.
Life is oh so short; and at this time in your life that means little, but when you are nearing 50 and realized you haven’t really lived– it will be the one thing you recommend to others.
Go to concerts, to shows, to museums, to natural wonders. Take in what delights you.
Eat well. Not stupid. Make sure the food you put in you is nutritious and full of flavor and excitement. Feed your body too. Do not let the stress of life or the lack of time allow you to make poor choices. That is not to say you cannot have that delicious prime rib or the burger that tops all burgers, but do that sparingly so. Your wellbeing depends on keeping your nutrients high and the carcinogenic, artery clogging crap at a low.
But remember to always have cake. Never pass up an opportunity for a good slice of cake.