Ever look around or read people’s blogs on the internet and think: How the hell did they manage to save all that $$$$$$$ by the time they were 30??!
Then you read the background, and realize how early they must have started, or that they had certain circumstances that you can’t replicate, and you start berating yourself for not having done the same when you were younger.
I am no stranger to this feeling.
In fact, if I didn’t watch debt shows and put myself back into the REAL world by talking to people outside of the personal finance circle, I’d probably be in the corner right now crying and feeling like I haven’t done anything worthwhile with my life and like I’m an utter failure compared to them.
PF Bloggers are NOT NORMAL PEOPLE
Yes, even though I am also are fully aware that these incredible folks comprise of a group made up of less than 0.001% of the population, all age groups taken into consideration.
See, I really wish I had taken a look at my money sooner than I did (mid-20s), and I wish I hadn’t gone into $60,000 of debt for school (I could have certainly been more frugal and it may have been $40,000, tops.)
I also wish to some extent, I didn’t make mistakes that cost me big bucks, like moving to the U.S. and then moving back, disillusioned.
Sometimes all I can see are my bad money mistakes in comparison to all the amazing ones other people have made in their lives, even though I KNOW I have done really well for myself.
It’s hard not to feel jealous, envious, sad, and eventually, discouraged.
The thing I always try to remember is this:
I can’t do anything about my past now, but I can at least change my future.
It ends up giving me motivation (eventually, after I get through a box or two of macarons), to think about my money more and how I handle it.
They did and still do things I am not willing to
I also acknowledge that they’re doing things I am not willing to.
I have different priorities, and it’s what is making me happy.
I am not interested in killing myself by working 100+ hour weeks in any job, or any capacity to get that money.
I am not interested in eating food on sale, living on $10,000 or less a year, or doing anything so frugal it becomes such a sacrifice for me to reach that $$ goal, that I am unhappy with my life.
I want to continue to spend money on traveling (about $5000 a year), and buying shiny, pretty things (within reason).
I am also not that interested in saving decamillions. Just a million or two will suffice by the time I decide I want to retire, taking into account inflation.
I am not really keen on retiring early either, as I really do enjoy my job and the challenges it brings, especially since I work on contract and I always have some bench time to relax.
And by ‘retiring early’, I mean not by 30 or 40.
I’m thinking 50 is a nice age to retire, if I want to.
I want a simple life — what the hell would I do with all the money anyway when I’m old and (re)tired, if all I do is I regret all the time I wasted at the office, killing myself for a job?
Frankly, I just have to remind myself that I’ve only been working about less than half of my life (2 out of 5 working years), which is a very relaxing (almost too relaxing) ratio, and I have saved quite a lot in spite of that, and all my bad money mistakes (~$200,000).
TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY
So really, no matter what age you are at, or where you are in life, the real day to change that matters is the next one.