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Does Saving Lead to a Less Enjoyable Life?

So my husband told one of his co-workers that we are currently attempting to pay off our home by paying an extra $400 every month toward the mortgage. His friend who is about eight or nine years older than the two of us, said that for $400 a month he could fly to California once a month to hang out with a friend of his. He told my husband to be careful with his money. To make certain that saving money and paying off our mortgage every month did not come at the risk of leading a less enjoyable life.

I have to admit that compared to my friends my life does look fairly monotonous and boring. Most of my friends have traveled all around the US, many to multiple foreign countries. They buy newer cars. They spend money on a host of personal assistants like housekeepers, dog walkers and personal trainers. They eat dinner out at nice restaurants at least a couple times a week. They buy new clothes and shoes much more often than my husband and I do. But do they lead more enjoyable lives?

In comparison to my friends my husband and I rarely buy new clothes. We clean our own home. We exercise without the assistance of personal trainers. We eat out maybe once every two to three months, and we both drive old cars. But do we lead less enjoyable lives? I don’t think so.

We enjoy cooking dinner together and feel that a car is just a vehicle to get from point A to point B. So eating out and buying fancier vehicles would not provide us with more enjoyment. Although I once had an overwhelming desire to travel the globe, that fantasy has subsided. There are still a number of places I’d love to visit, but I wouldn’t be devastated if I never got there. A good friend of mine mentioned last week that she will postpone planning for a child so that she can visit Africa next year. She’s afraid that if she don’t visit Africa before she has children she’ll never have the money to go. And she seems genuinely disturbed by the idea that she’ll never travel there. When I mentioned that she could always go after her future children are grown she chuckled.

And that’s when I realized that I am not saving money at the risk of leading a less enjoyable life. I am leading a happy, thrifty life now in the hopes of leading a much more enjoyable life in the future. Saving money today towards our goals, while enjoying the little things in life, will provide my husband and I the flexibility and freedom to live life any way we choose in the future. Of course, when the time comes my husband and I probably won’t lead our lives much differently. We may travel more often but I bet we’ll still be cooking dinner in our own kitchen.