In Discussions, Life

In search of trying to create the perfect life

I’ve been thinking a lot about personality lately and how it determines a lot of what happens in our lives. People from the same background, even from the same family (like mine), end up leading very different lives.

More than that, our personalities being so individual, lead us to do things that we
know are mistakes but for some reason, can’t help repeating over and over again.

No, this is not another PF lecture on NOT keeping up with the mythical, perfect Joneses, but more that each one of us is trying to find our own nirvana, and in doing so, we look to others as role models to see what sounds interesting.

This is a more introspective post to keep myself in check, as I can sometimes get carried away with my rather strong views.

For some of us, it might be that we always seem to go for boyfriends who are underdogs or losers, and for others, it is that we are so impulsive, we don’t take the time to review decisions we make, even though we know that it doesn’t turn out well 50% of the time.

The one thing we all have in common is we’re all trying to create the perfect life.

Shanghai-Travel-Photograph-Asia-Buddha-Silver-Temple

I for instance, was initially inspired by the idea of being able to save a lot of money, and if I didn’t spend up to the maximum of what I earned, I would be able to laze around and take time off. This appeals immensely to the rather lazy side of me I try to keep under control.

As a result my perfect life is not to obtain all the toys in the world before I die, but to work a truly balanced life (half the time, apparently is my idea of a “balanced life”), while sacrificing massive closets of designer clothes, fancy cars and so on.

…not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. What I consider MY perfect life is not someone else’s.


My brother is really into the “good life” as he calls it. He loves going to 5-star restaurants with his wife, taking exotic vacations staying in 5-star hotels, and living in a huge mansion with 2 luxury cars. He’s willing to sacrifice his time to work harder to pay for all that, because he sees a value in it for himself.

Which brings me to the actual point of why I wrote this post: Why are we all trying to force the idea of OUR perfect lives on others? Specifically, am I doing this to everyone who reads this blog, and why do I do it?

It kind of irks me when other people force their lives down on others and berate them if they don’t follow that script.

You know the script:

You can’t enjoy life until you’re debt-free.

You can’t do this.

You can’t do that.

You shouldn’t be wasting your money on frivolous items.

This is the reason why I also chose to name the blog “Save. Spend. SPLURGE.” with an emphasis on the SPLURGING because there aren’t many PF blogs out there that really talk about enjoying your money after you’ve saved it.

Most of the blogs I come across talk about pinching your pennies, investing your spare cash, and basically depriving yourself to get the highest net worth possible, in as little time as possible.

It’s like we forgot that the whole point of saving money is to spend it.

That said, I am aware that I am rather hypocritical in this kind of criticism because I already lead a pretty privileged life — not having to work the whole year, and only needing about 3 months of income to cover my expenses is I daresay, VERY privileged and unusual.

If everyone had my situation, maybe you’d all be a lot more laissez-faire about spending (splurging on expensive trips and things!) while not working, right?

Travel-Photograph-Lisbon-Portugal-Europe-Streets

This is the reason why even though t I feel as though that I am striving to perfection in my own life, I am trying my best not to force my views on other people as the ONLY way to do things, but it can be hard to stop.

Yes. I am rather militant on eating very good, natural foods, or avoiding toxic chemicals that we haven’t done enough research on as a society to use on ourselves, and thinking about others (Third World slave labour), as well as the environment in our decisions, but these are things I feel as though are decisions that everyone should strive towards.

I want to try and be as objective as possible to acknowledge all the other sides of the story, but there are just some basic facts of life (in my opinion) that can’t be refuted.

See, if I asked someone: Is an apple healthier than a bag of potato chips or a candy bar? Everyone would say “Yes” without question, which proves my point that eating good, healthy, natural foods would be the best thing for your body even if we don’t follow such diets or want to change our eating habits.

For me, trying to live a perfect life is impossible.

I already know that, yet I try my best to reach it, and I suppose all I really want is others to see all the mistakes I’ve made, learn about all the things I’ve been enlightened about, and to be aware of what they do, even if they don’t care to change.

But is all my talk about eating good food, being eco-friendly, being conscious of others in the world, and avoiding unknown toxic chemicals out of prudence a little too akin to ramming what I personally think is a “perfect life” that people should live down people’s throats?

Food for thought.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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24 Comments

  1. Gia T.

    Wow how’d I miss this post?! It snuck under the radar, sneaky little thing!

    You have a lot of good points here. I do follow or read some blogs, books, and websites that, while helpful, can get a little too rigid or formulaic at times and make me feel bad for not following the prescribed structure exactly. I just have to remind myself it’s all about tailoring the advice to best fit your own situation.

    Our idea of what is “enough” money can vary greatly, and even how and what we spend that money on is very personal. I think that’s part of the reason folks are so defensive about telling other people what they spend their money on. Certainly what I may spend on, someone else may find frivolous, but to each their own.

    I do believe there are “true truths”, like the apple is better than a potato chip thing, so those are easier to follow, but everything else is very subjective.

    It’s also nice you do these introspective posts, as I know opinions can change over time with lifestyle, situations, etc., and I like seeing how views evolve over time based on different events.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      My opinions have definitely changed and evolved over time. I used to be more extreme and now I feel like I am more flexible…

      Reply
  2. Tania

    Oh geez girl, you are not banging us over the head with your belief bible, no worries. You are merely stating your opinion and sharing, nothing wrong with that.

    I had a good bloggy (& IRL) buddy who got hooked up with the “minimalist” blogger crowd and it made her uncomfortable because they were very rigid in their definition of minimalist. We are all unique and different. We will find common ground on some topics and not on others. We will also all spend our money differently as different things bring us joy. If I only own 5 black dresses but love to be surrounded by books for example, I won’t let anyone make me feel crappy about that (& neither should you).

    Don’t be offended but I do feel this is part of being a woman also. What I love about you is your strong voice. I also have a strong voice but there is a little bit of that feminine fear that pops up from time to time about possibly offending someone or being worried my delivery was too strong. I often wonder if men go through this but somehow I think being women makes us question our delivery a bit more at times.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I don’t think guys worry about offending people. Normally I don’t either but I can’t help but check, yknow?

      Reply
  3. Sally

    I don’t feel like you are ramming it down our throats, if I did, I just wouldn’t read your blog. I love blogs that are trying to figure out (or have figured out) what is important to them and how to achieve those desired results. I like seeing your point of view, your priorities, and how you get there. We’re different on the surface- I don’t spend much on my clothes or care that much about fashion (not like I used to anyways), but I like to spend on items for the home and decorating, because I get a ton of happiness out of having a comfortable home. Surface=different. Underneath=same. Spend money where it matters and figure out how to have the money to spend, while saving! Anyways, I hope you keep going with these types of posts, they’re always the most interesting.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Thank you. I think I don’t spend on home stuff because I don’t have a permanent place. If I buy that condo, I’m thinking of what art I would make or put up 🙂 my photographs for instance!

      Reply
  4. Cindy

    Is it perfection, per se, that we are really striving for? Or should we perhaps reframe it? Maybe we are or should be striving for wholeness in our lives.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Oh good point. Wholeness. I like that concept. I’m going to have to think about this.

      Reply
  5. Lisa

    Perfect is subjective. It is completely different for everyone. Who am I to judge what another person’s “perfect” is? That’s what I love about PERSONAL finance. As long as everyone can afford their basic needs, everything else you splurge on is up to you!

    Reply
  6. MelD

    We don’t all have to agree, we can agree to disagree on some things – if we disagree on a lot more things, I guess I have a choice not to bother reading your blog any more!! Just like some friends fade away when interests diverge too much.
    I like reading blogs because they are often informative and sometimes put me onto ideas or thoughts I might not have encountered otherwise or encourage me to think differently about something, but also because you feel that a blog you like reading is written by someone who is on your wavelength, more or less.
    And if you’re going to bother writing about stuff, I sure hope you have an opinion on it 🙂

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Which I think is the point of blogging. Otherwise, why bother writing if you are going to say the same thing as everyone else?

      Reply
  7. Bridget

    Preach!

    I’ve been criticized since I started blogging about the way I spend my money or deciding to back to school for an MBA, blah blah balh. I guess I mention the blog because I don’t think people are as vocal offline as they are behind their computer screens when it comes to criticizing people for how they live their lives.

    There’s only 2 things to remember when it comes to how you live:
    1) Don’t hurt others
    2) Don’t hurt yourself

    All the rest is up to you

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Good rules to live by.

      Reply
  8. NZ Muse

    Haha. Damn straight. In your situation, I’d say I’d definitely be a lot more lax about spending for sure, and more committed to buying ethically. But let’s face it, I’m far more concerned about other things than only buying top quality, no-sweatshop clothing. Sometimes we do buy free range eggs and chicken, but less often that not.

    One thing I definitely struggle with is allowing that yes, stuff CAN bring happiness too. And that even in NZ not everyone wants to buy a place. And again that comes back to privilege. If you have a high income and are appealing to landlords, then of course you’re not going to struggle with your housing situation if you can a) afford and b) qualify for decent rentals. Oh, the irony.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That, I would agree with. It is not easy to make such choices if you are constrained by money.

      Reply
  9. Jen @ Jen Spends

    I try not to force my ideas onto anyone. One of my motives for sharing my lifestyle ideas online was the fact that I constantly heard “You’re so lucky!”, “I wish I could do that!”, “How do you DO it?” etc. etc. So, I took the time to tell people how I get “lucky”. I eventually realized that the people who make those ignorant comments just want the same results without the same effort. They don’t want to live the lifestyle, they just want what they see as the perks. At this point I feel like I’m mostly preaching to the choir, but that’s okay–it’s nice to meet like-minded people, and there’s still more for me to learn, too.

    When it all comes down to it, people have a choice to read blogs or not. There’s no force involved. If everyone tiptoes around what they really think, nobody learns or accomplishes anything.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Which is partly why I’ve stayed Anonymous so I can really be honest. As for “luck” there is some element of luck in everything but it isn’t the determining factor in how people manage to clear their debt and save.

      Reply
  10. Kassandra

    I believe that what you’re talking about in this post, is maintaining respect for others even if their choices don’t align with yours. This is something that I try to do as well. I have my stance on certain topics when it comes to PF and I also enjoy some of the finer things and comforts in life. I’m sure that others would find something I do or use that would be considered a money waste – so be it. Like you, all I can do is demonstrate my values and opinions and if it sits well with others, great. If not, then that’s ok too.

    Reply
  11. ArianaAuburn

    It’s a good idea to think about these things and to discuss things about life because it helps bring a different perspective to reflect on. As for your strong opinions on subjects such as healthy eating, being eco friendly and such, there is nothing wrong with them: you’re bringing your perspective to those who want to listen. Sometimes you can learn a lot from others even when you are not experiencing their lives. Keep writting your blogs. Your blog has inspired me to go back to school.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Thanks! Just trying to make sure I strike a balance between being opinionated and so on. I guess at the end of the day, people can choose to follow or not.

      Reply
  12. marilyn

    I dont think you ram it down peoples throats.I mean a blog or website is away of sharing your point of view.I dont think you are trying to live the perfect life,just the best life that suits you,hich is what we all strive for.
    I personally would love a better life.I am unable to work due to my illness (caught a virus when had my son which wrecked my heart function)so I get by on government benefits.I always had worked prior to that.Am divorced when husband ran off after not coping with my illness and inability to work.
    Am I happy ?Yes I am content within myself ,even though I face eviction as my landlord is trying to reclaim his house so his son can live here.My life is a bit of a nightmare from the outside but I think on the whole I try to live,a good,honest life by eating the best way i can,spending very little and not buying many clothes.Some people dont have the same choices others have, and if you are financially secure its much better than not being and having to depend on others for everything.I didn’t ask to end up this way, circumstances have changed things for me.16 years ago I owned my own house had a job and no money problems.I was happy then, but now I am more content because I dont need ‘things’ to make me happy I am happy within myself as i know my own limitations.Love your blog and keep expressing your opinions.I like reading it.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Thanks Marilyn. You know, it just really goes to show that money is not a factor in happiness. It is whether you choose to be happy or not.

      Reply

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In a nutshell…

Save. Spend. Splurge.
[ wealth. style. minimalism. ]

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MOST DEBT: cleared $60K in 18 months

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