There is a lot to be said for living for the moment. Some experts say we should do more of it. Instead of regretting the past or being sad about it, or worrying about what may or may not happen in the future, we should focus on today.
This is a great concept and one that can rid us of a lot of stress and hassle in lots of different ways. However it is not the right concept to apply to our finances. It can work in some ways: for example it’s good sometimes to treat ourselves when we’ve spent all month saving hard and paying down debt. However you can see the difference between living for the moment financially and living for the moment in other ways.
Let’s dig into this in a little more depth. If you do live for the moment in terms of your finances, the chances are good that you don’t have any savings to speak of. This is fine all the while life doesn’t throw any curve balls at you. But of course we all know that happens from time to time. Living for the moment is great until your refrigerator decides to break down. When this happens you will panic and wonder where on earth you’re going to find the money to fix it or get a new one. The same goes for your car when it breaks down or your house when it needs a new roof. When you hit one of these roadblocks in life – as you surely will, let’s be realistic here – you’ll hate the fact you live for the moment financially.
Clearly you need to strike a balance. The trick is to live for the moment but prepare financially for the future too. You see, if you don’t put plans in place to save for the future – for your retirement, say – you’ll end up not being able to follow your idea to live for the moment in your future. At least, you won’t be able to afford to live the way you want to.
So as much as you may feel as though you are betraying your ideal of taking each day as it comes, you should take the time to focus on your finances too. All it takes is a half-day to sit down and go through everything so you can see whether you are able to put any money aside for the moment. It doesn’t have to be a fortune but the effort of going through this step will make a part of you able to focus on this task as well as enjoying each day as it comes.
As you can see, there is a way to balance things out if you know how to do it. The more you understand how this works the easier it will be to plan ahead financially while still focusing on each day. This is the best balance you could have.