Anyone else having issues balancing their financial life in relation to their advancing age?
Making decisions lately has taken on a very different type of calculation, one that includes the question, should we save or should we spend. If we spend money now, are we taking away from money we’ll need in 5, 10, 15 years or, Lord willing, beyond? And if we don’t spend it now, will we regret not spending it later?
For instance, after making the decision that, barring a stunning lottery win, we’d be aging in place in our current home, we’ve been having a little work done. But do we fix only the immediate needs and let the small stuff slide? Balancing today against tomorrow, what if we need the money spent on a luxury today for necessities tomorrow?
When we eventually start traveling again, we need to make up for the lost time of the last two or three years. Age is as much a factor in thinking about travel as money, because, even though we’re both healthy now, we want to do as much as we can before our ability to move well and feel safe on our own declines. That declination may not happen for a decade or two but who knows? And will the money we spend on travel then take away, again, potentially, from necessities down the line?
We’re at that age when we don’t need a lot of “stuff”. Now, while we’re both still working, we aren’t decadent but we also don’t put too much thought into buying the little “stuff” we do want. If The Husband and I lose track of each other in a department store, I know I can find him in the toy department and he looks for me among the book shelves. A new Batman figure or a fave authors new fiction, yes, please. Sometimes, though, I can’t help but think that I’m robbing myself when I spend money on frivolities now. But then I think, I could have a stroke tomorrow, so be happy today!
I’ve always been the type of person who likes to have money in the bank, not that I’ve ever had much, but socking money away has always made me happier than seeing the bank balance go down. So, when the bank balance goes down now, when our disposable earnings potential may have an expiry just over the horizon, that spending better be either joyful or necessary! Joyful gets defined easily enough, necessary is tougher to break down and both have complicated justifications and concerns.
I have a feeling there is no easy answer to this one and we all confront this issue lugging our own emotional baggage and convoluted beliefs about the almighty dollar. Good luck to us all and if you’ve got any hard won answers, let me know!