Save for the future or live for today?
“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupert
At this point, you’ve probably heard that you should be saving money. It’s one of those things that’s just supposed to be good for you, like eating broccoli or flossing before you go to bed. It’s the responsible thing to do.
But then we have mindfulness. The buzzword of the year. I mean, to live mindfully is essentially about living in the moment. It’s valuing what’s right now, right here. So, if what matters most in each moment is to have the best experience, then why should you save for the future?
The thing about mindfulness is that the practice allows you to objectively watch your thoughts go by, along with emotions and worries that might come with them. And as they float by, you can choose to pick some out, identifying with some and letting go of others. To be able to do that you have to first decide what is important for you to focus on. And just like we are not our thoughts, we are not what we spend either. Some options can just float on by. And we can skip the splurge if we want to.
Part of being in the now is being ready to fund it – having fun money for that last-minute road trip, those spontaneous drinks with the girls, or when flights are suddenly on sale. After all, savings are not money we have lost or given up the use of, it is for future spending. Future spending that is aligned with our values and goals.
Think about it as investing in your future self. Money gives us freedom to choose, and when you pick the option to set it aside and grow it you take responsibility over your own life and can reap the benefits later on. As these savings balances start to grow, it can bring a sense of freedom in your current and future spending choices.
Now, I love a spontaneous adventure as much as the next girl and it is part of how I want to live my life, so guess what I’ve done? I map it out! Yes, that’s right. I put a dedicated amount to cash aside each month for real guilt-free and financially responsible “live in the moment” experiences, without my future goals or cash flow taking a hit.
So trust me, start saving for your future self. For real this time. You deserve it.