In Discussions, Discussions, Life, Money

PSA: Don’t postpone joy

*PSA = Public Service Announcement

So. I just want you all to know that I am still all about meeting money goals, crushing it at work and being an overall badass, but if there is something you really truly want to do, don’t wait until it is too late.

(Hah! Another catchy phrase – don’t wait until it is too late)

…. Because it might actually be too late.

A lot of people talk about their dreams, and how once they work hard and get their debt cleared, or house paid, or $1M banked, they will finally relax and enjoy it all, dreaming of their plans to do this and that.

However, recently I’ve been thinking a lot about joy and I want everyone to reconsider if they have enough balance in their life.

Don’t go to the point where you postpone everything, waiting for retirement or until the kids are out of the home, or you’re debt free.

There are just so many stories of people who did all the “right” things, only to lose their loved ones and with regret or not, wish they hadn’t spent so much time working to hustle and make money / clear so much debt.

I have met people, and have had messages written to me about people saying they had waited their whole lives to hustle, clear that debt and/or make $300K a year, working like crazy, only to have one of them die unexpectedly, and their whole world fall apart.

They planned trips.


They had mapped out all of Europe to travel, where they would go, what they would eat, what they would see, and all the memories they would have together.

Now? All of that is gone.

I know a colleague who recently was talking about going back to visit his mother as she was ill.

He was so dedicated to the project, and worked 80+ hour weeks and didn’t go back for a long time (about 3 years) because he kept working and didn’t feel like he could leave the project to go see her. He was so dedicated and didn’t plan to go back at all, even though the project had a break coming up, he wanted so badly to deliver results.

2 weeks later, she died.

I mean, I like doing a good job and working hard but this is not worth it.

NO JOB and NO CONTRACT is worth it. NO ONE WILL CARE about this project years down the road, but you will always remember what you regret and miss in life.

Give yourselves a break if you can.

Instead of paying it off in 3 years and breaking your backs, do it in 4 years, or 5.

Have a little fun. Life isn’t just about numbers – your life isn’t the sum of your bank account, your weight, whatever.

It is the reason why I’m working half my career, not only because I can with my job as a freelancer, but because I CHOOSE not to take on more contracts and burn out, and I CHOOSE to say “No” when the contract has a long commute or a low rate per hour — all of this means I’m choosing to not be richer sooner and I’m okay with that.

I designed my life so I work part-time in a sort of semi-retired on/off mode – taking contracts, then a break, then taking a contract again when I get antsy.

Not everyone can do this, but everyone can decide to not work longer at the office, to say “No”, to come home earlier for dinners together, to not work extra hours for overtime pay, and to enjoy life a little more.

People can also decide to not postpone that trip to Europe and save up for that on the side to do it on a budget while paying debt off.

I know it sounds so crazy and counterintuitive to all of this intense gazelle-ing, and hustling and crazy work-work-work life, but I just fear for the day that you’ll have regrets and wish you had done this or that sooner.

Don’t say no to dinners out with a great friend just because you have food at home and brown bag it daily, so you’re refusing to spend a single penny outside.

Save for it, pinch elsewhere, and create those memories of being there in that ambience with them and enjoying a lovely night.

Obviously, don’t do this nightly and call it a joyful experience, everything has to be done in moderation!

Or if you really love a certain body cream or perfume, buy it. Wear it. Enjoy it. Don’t save it for a special occasion and watch it evaporate or go bad. Enjoy these things.

My only message is to think about this a little more critically the next time you say “No” to something because of money that you do have but feel like you can’t spend because of your crazy hustling:

Lastly, some real direct messages:

This one made me tear up:

Here is another one:

Don’t postpone joy.

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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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Posted on April 15, 2017

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7 Comments

  1. Just a little (link) love: Live and laugh now edition « A Gai Shan Life

    […] PSA: Don’t postpone joy. I am constantly having to remind myself this and trying to figure out that balance in the big picture. It’s hard not to just intensely stare at savings goals for the future when they help me have hope and they take me out of today. That’s a good thing when I’m in so much pain. BUT they also take me out of today. It’s a hard balancing act. […]

    Reply
  2. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    Always reminding myself of this, ALWAYS. You and I know I’m a money hoarder for a good reason BUT I also have to know that aside from not knowing if I have more or less than ten “good” (haha not really good but sure, not as terrible) years left means if I run out of that time with more money but no good memories, I’ll have done it all wrong. Hard not to let the fear of being destitute in the future take the lead because that feels more intense than the need to enjoy today. But I am trying.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You need to try and let go. And relax. Do some retirement calculators and you’ll realize how WELL OFF you are. That’s what I do to try and bring myself back from being super stingy.

      Reply
  3. Anne

    Hear hear. After two close calls, I don’t postpone things I really want to do: I left a very good employment without knowledge of a new job and moved to another country to get married two years after meeting my husband for the first time. At the same time, I am planning for the future, just in case I happen to live to see my 100th birthday – I want to be able to enjoy my life also when I’m old. I have had a good life since the car accident at the age of 24 that I survived, so I wouldn’t have too many regrets if I died today. But I certainly hope to have several decades left. There are so many things I’d love to experience before my time is up!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I completely agree with you. There is nothing like having something like a near accident be so life affirming. <3

      Reply
  4. Catherine

    This is so true. Everything.

    One of my tendencies (as a recovering perfectionist) is to aim for the A+++ version (at least my version) of whatever it is that I am going for. One of the things I keep reminding myself is to remind myself of the INTENT first. Because oftentimes, life is much easier than we make it to find joy.

    What I mean by that is, one of the joys in my life is traveling with my husband. We both work demanding jobs, and when we finally got 3 weeks off together, I went all out – guided tours, all-inclusive resort, etc. And you know what? It was great, but it took us almost 5 years to take that trip!

    Since then, my approach is a bit different, we take smaller “bite-size” trips – on long weekends, locally – but still keeping the spirit of traveling together as the INTENT. The trips are less planned, cost way less, but it doesn’t matter – because we get to celebrate each other more often together – and that was really the intent – not the $10k+ trip. I’m not saying to not take the 3+ week trip, I’m saying take it – but don’t focus on it so much that it becomes this mythical thing on a pedestal and you forget to celebrate the intention while hustling getting to that “landmark”. It truly is the journey and not the destination when it comes to celebrating the relationships in your life.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Don’t wait. Enjoy the time you have now, and don’t have toxic people absorb your free time for their selfish needs either.

      Reply

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In a nutshell…

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

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