We all have them. Friends that spend like there is no tomorrow, they buy the latest cellphone, the biggest flat screen TV, the newest model BMW. They buy a McMansion to impress their friends and families, eat out every night of the week, and go on extravagant vacations that they cannot afford. So I got to thinking about them when we received a card in the mail the other day from a relative.
This relative sent us a very large cash gift for no reason other than she wanted to give it to us. She is an older member of our family, and I am guessing that she wants to start spreading the love around while she is still here. We don’t really like to think of this kind of stuff, but it is reality. Anyways, we got this check and we looked at each other immediately and thought: “Retirement and a small vacation”.
Not for one second did we contemplate buying a plasma TV. Not for one second did we consider trading in my wife’s older car for brand new great smelling luxury automobile. Not for one second did we start looking for an apartment actually in the middle of the ocean. We looked at each other and decided that our well being later in life was more important than any short term elation we could experience by blowing this money.
And that’s when I was thinking of our friends from the first paragraph. What would they do? I am guessing they would find a way to spend that money ASAP, without looking at it as a long term help. No thought of retirement or education or anything else. “It’s free money” they would say….but it isn’t really. Someone worked a long and hard life to save up that money, and the fact that they are sharing it with the rest of their family really means something. Do the spenders think that someone worked hard all those years to buy them a new TV?
That is what separates them from us…we are conscious of our financial choices.
We look further down the road than the end of our noses, and feel that saving and investing and living within our means is more important than having a new this, that, or the other thing right away.
So what did we do with the money? Well, the majority of it went into our retirement funds, some went into our house fund, and we took a small amount out for a vacation we were planning on taking this year anyway. We think our relative would approve. Don’t you? She worked very hard for a very long time to be able to do this..and we don’t want to let her down.