The inspiration for this piece comes from a story I read on Get Rich Slowly. The blog post talks about a couple who spent their entire lives saving money only to die without having had the chance to use it.
After reading many of the comments that the readers left, I got a sense as to what the community thought. I must say it varied; it is very intriguing to read. I recommend taking a look at it. The link will be posted below at the end of my reflection on it.
Brief Summary of Story
The husband of an elderly couple passed away and his wife found out through the accountant that she had approximately $4 million in savings; money that she was not aware of. She went on to say that she wanted to do so many things in her life; buy nice clothing etc., but was never able to because of financial reasons. So she then went out and started buying things she always wanted, only to die a week later than her husband.
The overarching message in this story is to have BALANCE. Yes, from the perspective of personal finance, it is important to be frugal, and pay specific attention to expenditures, but it should not be at the sacrifice of your happiness. As the title of my blog posting says, we should balance happiness today with the security of tomorrow.
What do I mean
Well I believe it to be a wise choice to prepare for the future, but it should not be at the expense of the present moment. You only get to experience life now, so your present should be given highest priority. Consequently, there is a difference between doing that and impulsive spending on things you think you want or need that will make you happy. One says that you should really take the time and invest in yourself; things that you really enjoy, you should do it, but it should be done wisely and everything should be taken into consideration; other activities, expenses, education, children, spouse etc. On the other hand, one could merely make impulsive purchases, buy unnecessary things without future considerations, be reckless with money and rack up a lot of debt, and do not save or invest. This normally does not create a condition for future wealth.
I do think that doing things that you love allows you to really connect to Divinity, that creates a condition of fulfillment.
“There is no correlation between money and happiness.”
It would otherwise be very difficult to find someone with very little money who is happy. Or, most people with a lot of money will have the highest level of happiness. You can see how idiotic those statements are. Another way to look at this is to really think about where your happiness comes from. Happiness is a state of perception. Dr. Wayne Dyer said it and he was right.
“Everything that I experience in my life is a result of my perception of what’s out there in the world.”
At a certain level you realize that happiness is a state within and is not achieved by striving for things on the outside. There is nothing out there that can bring happiness into your life. Change your perception and change your life; amazing things will happen.