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Live for today OR Save for tomorrow?


Live for today OR Save for tomorrow?  

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Live for today OR Save for tomorrow?

Do you give up the beach vacation with the family because you should be putting 5% of your earnings towards retirement? Do you go out and get that 50 inch 1080P LCD because you love TV / movies, but in your heart you know you should be putting that towards your savings? Do you skip a weekend trip away with the wife that would make you both very happy and give you some time alone because it isn't in the budget for that month?

Life is so short. I know too many people that chose to save all they could, live for tomorrow, and work 50 hours a week and then when they finally retired they didn't get to enjoy their hard work. Death, medical bills, etc. Many of us will be lucky to get to 80 years old and when we do, what are we going to be able to do with all that money we saved? I don't want to be the one looking back and wondering about all the fun things and missed opportunities I had in life. I also don't want the wife and I to be begging our kids to help us out and take us in when we get older.

What do you do?

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I live for today, probably to excess. I make good money but have very little in savings. If tragedy struck and I could no longer work, I'd be in trouble. That said, I'm still young enough that I have plenty of time to save for the responsibilities of the future (wife, kids, retirement).

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Obviously, the correct answer is finding the balance that works best for you.

However, I would recommend that pretty much everyone have 3 - 6 months living expenses saved up, at the very minimum. I don't really think that's too much to ask of a reasonably responsible person.

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I save for today. My "frugal" ways allow me to do both. While non-frugals are spending $800 a month to feed a family of 4 and then contributing to savings, I'm spending $300 a month, contributing to savings and using that extra $500/month for new TVs, vacations, etc.

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We do both, we may lean towards a little to much towards today but we don't have any outstanding bills other than a mortgage so I don't feel too bad when I "splurge"

I won't go buy a new TV in the family room until the old one dies, it's on 12 years now (JUST DIE already). But we do have one big tv already

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I won't go buy a new TV in the family room until the old one dies, it's on 12 years now (JUST DIE already). But we do have one big tv already

I've got one that's about 10 years old... and I bought it refurbished back then. The other day is started crackling a little bit when I turned it on, and I actually got a little excited. It's a 35" screen, so I just can't justify blowing a grand on a new TV as long as this one is still working perfectly. :lmao:
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I won't go buy a new TV in the family room until the old one dies, it's on 12 years now (JUST DIE already). But we do have one big tv already

I've got one that's about 10 years old... and I bought it refurbished back then. The other day is started crackling a little bit when I turned it on, and I actually got a little excited. It's a 35" screen, so I just can't justify blowing a grand on a new TV as long as this one is still working perfectly. :lmao:
me too, I have a 36" mitsubishi, it was "state of the art" dual tuner , pip was like 1200. We have a HD ttv in the basement but I feel the same way, certain things I'll splurge but this I just can't
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The way to financial wealth is to put at least 10% into savings, year after year. So, it means a little less of everything. Staying at a budget hotel instead of a a luxury hotel on vacation (strange, but when I think back on the great vacations I have had, the hotel made little difference--the location much more). Postpone getting the latest electronic gizmo; just getting it a year or two later, saved tons. Drive your old car one more year; eat out a little less often. It hasn't been a great sacrifice, we have lived very well.

I lost my job a few years back. My wife said: "Should we cut back out lifestyle significantly?". I said: "We can live for 5 years at our current lifestyle; but after that we'll be broke." Three months later I had a job at a higher salary.

We now have sufficient for our retirement, have been able to put our kids through college, and have no financial worries.

Years back I read about a sociological study done across many countries. They analyzed the poor, the ones on the lowest strata of society. From a sociological viewpoint, all of them shared one significant trait. They were unable to postpone gratification.

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The way to financial wealth is to put at least 10% into savings, year after year. So, it means a little less of everything. Staying at a budget hotel instead of a a luxury hotel on vacation (strange, but when I think back on the great vacations I have had, the hotel made little difference--the location much more). Postpone getting the latest electronic gizmo; just getting it a year or two later, saved tons. Drive your old car one more year; eat out a little less often. It hasn't been a great sacrifice, we have lived very well.I lost my job a few years back. My wife said: "Should we cut back out lifestyle significantly?". I said: "We can live for 5 years at our current lifestyle; but after that we'll be broke." Three months later I had a job at a higher salary.We now have sufficient for our retirement, have been able to put our kids through college, and have no financial worries.Years back I read about a sociological study done across many countries. They analyzed the poor, the ones on the lowest strata of society. From a sociological viewpoint, all of them shared one significant trait. They were unable to postpone gratification.

I agree with most of this. Vacations will splurge and other times not. A nice hotel has made a difference for us.Can't agree more on the car thing. I've been driving the same vehicle for 10 years now.I don't have more than 3 or 4 months in savings but if I had to clear out my 401k and IRA's to survive I could
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We've been saving for tomorrow for a couple of years now. Before that we lived for today too much. Paying for it a bit now as we are really crunching to get our savings built up to acceptable levels before the 2nd kid comes.

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I find it easy to save a lot in tax-deferred or Roth IRAs. I have a hard time saving for that AND getting the magical Suze Orman 8 month liquid emergency fund - I'm stuck at 5 to 6 months worth of expenses in liquid savings. I can't bring myself to save "inefficiently" by saving less in the tax-friendly vehicles to increase the emergency fund.

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We do both. We work hard and want to enjoy the now, so yeah we eat out too much and probably buy more things than we need. That being said, we have gotten ourselves out of a lot of debt in the last 5 years, we put aside money every month for our savings, retirement, child's education and down payment for a house. Are we where we would like to be? No but we get closer every month and we are both proud of the fact that we work hard to be where we are at.

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Saving for tomorrow has certainly helped my family weather this economic downturn with little stress. My earnings will be down 28% this year but we're still able to put money in the savings account and take a vacation this summer. All because we deferred buying a few toys during the early years of our marriage.

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The way to financial wealth is to put at least 10% into savings, year after year. So, it means a little less of everything. Staying at a budget hotel instead of a a luxury hotel on vacation (strange, but when I think back on the great vacations I have had, the hotel made little difference--the location much more). Postpone getting the latest electronic gizmo; just getting it a year or two later, saved tons. Drive your old car one more year; eat out a little less often. It hasn't been a great sacrifice, we have lived very well.I lost my job a few years back. My wife said: "Should we cut back out lifestyle significantly?". I said: "We can live for 5 years at our current lifestyle; but after that we'll be broke." Three months later I had a job at a higher salary.We now have sufficient for our retirement, have been able to put our kids through college, and have no financial worries.Years back I read about a sociological study done across many countries. They analyzed the poor, the ones on the lowest strata of society. From a sociological viewpoint, all of them shared one significant trait. They were unable to postpone gratification.

I agree with most of this. Vacations will splurge and other times not. A nice hotel has made a difference for us.Can't agree more on the car thing. I've been driving the same vehicle for 10 years now.I don't have more than 3 or 4 months in savings but if I had to clear out my 401k and IRA's to survive I could
:missing: Thankfully, the things I enjoy just don't cost all that much. I'll take an afternoon hike in the woods with the family over the movies any day (assuming the weather is ok), give me a week at the beach over Disney, homecooking over most restaurants, etc. We put away around 25% of my pay every month and are debt free, but aside from not buying a new TV, buying a slightly used SUV that gets decent mileage over the newest SUV or sports car, we just don't feel like we're sacrificing today for tomorrow.
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I save for tomorrow.

But I'm beginning to see a different side of things.

I'm 31, only have a mortgage as far as debt, and have over 170,000 in retirement savings.

Yet my psyche just won't allow me to spend and have fun... I'm just can't let the money go...

However, seeing all the old people stumbling and bumbling through the office with the ailments, back problems, health problems, etc.... it's really starting to hit me.

I'm torn.. my #1 goal since my 2nd year of working was to save enough to stop working as soon as humanly possible.

But now I'm starting to think twice about that.

I'm thinking of all the things I'd kind of like to do... wakeboarding, hiking, running, swimming, tennis, etc..

and the fact that a LOT of people over 50 just aren't doing these things.

I'm actually starting to have an early mid-life crisis... I figure I'm still pretty physically fit.. sure i notice I'm not 21 anymore, but I can still do most of what I want to physically.... although this last weekend in Vegas just PWNED me and made me realize i definitely can't run on 3-4 hours sleep for 3 consecutive days without a massive penalty.

I need to ramp UP my spending and enjoy this decade of my life before I really start breaking down at 40+... but I'm having a real problem doing it.

I can't spend.... is there some type of reform group for this?

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I save for tomorrow.But I'm beginning to see a different side of things.I'm 31, only have a mortgage as far as debt, and have over 170,000 in retirement savings.Yet my psyche just won't allow me to spend and have fun... I'm just can't let the money go...However, seeing all the old people stumbling and bumbling through the office with the ailments, back problems, health problems, etc.... it's really starting to hit me.I'm torn.. my #1 goal since my 2nd year of working was to save enough to stop working as soon as humanly possible.But now I'm starting to think twice about that.I'm thinking of all the things I'd kind of like to do... wakeboarding, hiking, running, swimming, tennis, etc..and the fact that a LOT of people over 50 just aren't doing these things.I'm actually starting to have an early mid-life crisis... I figure I'm still pretty physically fit.. sure i notice I'm not 21 anymore, but I can still do most of what I want to physically.... although this last weekend in Vegas just PWNED me and made me realize i definitely can't run on 3-4 hours sleep for 3 consecutive days without a massive penalty.I need to ramp UP my spending and enjoy this decade of my life before I really start breaking down at 40+... but I'm having a real problem doing it.I can't spend.... is there some type of reform group for this?

Calm down. I played competitive rugby until I was 44, and I still play competitive basketball.
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Both.

After not being in position to save much for various reasons, we've managed to save about $40K over the past 2 years. We're pretty happy about that. I drive a 7, almost 8 year old car and hope to drive it for at least a couple more years. We go on vacation in the fall to save money, don't eat out more than about once per week, I pack my lunch 90% of the time, and I can't remember the last time I bought any clothes that weren't on the clearance rack. And I'm still watching a tube tv. When it dies, I'll replace it with HD.

But when the opportunity comes up for us to enjoy life, we don't pass it up. Spent over $1200 to go to all 3 Stanley Cup Finals games in Pittsburgh this year. Most fun I've ever had at any sporting events. Absolutely worth it. On birthdays and anniversaries we go to the nicest restaurants around and splurge. We were in Lancaster last week and my wife found the hand made quilt that she's been looking for the past 10+ years. $800 and I didn't even hesitate because I saw the look in her eyes when she saw it.

So I think there is a balance. You can't be foolish and not think about the future. But you also should enjoy the present. Because none of us knows how much future we'll even have. On this earth, anyway.

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