Enjoy Life Now, AND Save for Later
Often we're told that we have to suffer now — give up what we want — in order to succeed later, that in order to save we must sacrifice. Give up instant gratification to get delayed gratification.
But you can do both.
For years, I was confused about this, as I read books and websites that sent me two different messages:
Pleasure later. The first message was that in order to be successful, in order to build wealth, you have to delay gratification. You can't have instant gratification and be successful.
Pleasure now. The second message was usually from other sources on Happiness, but sometimes from the same source: enjoy life now, while you can, because it's short and you never know when your last day will come. Live every day like it's your last. Trouble is, I agree with both messages. And if you read this site often, you’ll see that I send both messages: Live frugally and simply! But also enjoy life!
That's because I've reconciled the two philosophies into one: Live life now and enjoy it to the fullest — without destroying your future. The key to doing that? Find ways to enjoy life completely, utterly, maximally … that don’t cost your future very much.
Here are some tips for actually living that philosophy:
Find free or cheap pleasures. Frugality does not have to be boring or restrictive … if you use your imagination. Be creative and find ways to have fun — loads of it — without spending much money. Have a picnic at the park, go to the beach, do crafts, board games, fly a kite, make art, bake cookies … I could list a hundred things, and you could come up with a few hundred more. Make a list of simple pleasures, and enjoy them to the maximum. This is the key to the whole idea of enjoying life now without spending tomorrow's dollar. See Savor the Little Things
Make simplifying fun. I'm a big fan of simplifying my life, from decluttering to creating a simple lifestyle in every way. And to me, this is great fun. I get rid of stuff (and possibly make money selling it) and have a blast doing it. That’s good math.
Rediscover what’s important. Oftentimes we spend tons of money, shopping, going out, watching movies, eating out … without really enjoying life. And when we stop to think about it, we never have time for the things we really want to do. Well, that's probably because your life is filled with things that aren't very important to you. Instead, step back and really think about what’s important to you. Then get rid of the other (expensive) stuff, and focus on what's important. Listen to some stuff on my list: my wife and kids, other friends and family, reading, writing, exercising, volunteering, spending quiet time in contemplation. Guess how many of those things cost a lot of money? Read more here .