I always came from the school of thought that you work your ass off, save as much as you can, minimize debt, try to squeeze as much fun as you can out of every last dime and always save for a rainy day. In more recent years, despite the fact that I still have loads of debt, I also have more liquidity. If I were smart I would be squirreling away what I do have and making some sort of investment, yet I find myself throwing caution (and money) to the wind in an effort to get back all those wasted years of worrying about money all the time.
This is not to say I never worry about money anymore. I do, everyone does. Even my brother who makes the value of his house every year in wages worries about money, but I must admit I don’t worry the same. On a recent drunken escapade I mentioned to a friend that if it’s $60 and under I no longer worry, I just buy. The stupidity of that theory is spend $60 too many times and it adds up. At one point in my 20’s I actually had to count my takeout coffees to decide whether or not I could hit up the bar on the weekend, or afford that new 50% off coat. How quickly we forget where we came from.
But, when are finances black and white? We all know people who spend like there is no tomorrow and can’t help but tsk them in the back corner, but we also know people who are cheap bastards and ask for money to pitch into meat. There has to be a happy medium.
And what happens to your finances when you are suddenly single? All those fantastic savings plans, RRFPs, mortgages, and education bonds sort of fly right out the window. Does the heart become more important than the head when it comes to money? Well, I think this area has shades of grey as well.
A good friend of mine did the decent thing in a breakup and walked away with nothing. He gave up the house, the savings and all earthly belongings just to have a clean break. Now, a year or two later, he finds himself in a financial pickle. The head has caught up to the heart and clarity reigns once more. However, I have another friend who was so intent on getting return from his investment, he attempted to stay in the mortgage with his ex for the long haul, inevitably tying them together for years to come. So, when do you cut your losses?
I think I can say there isn’t a real right or wrong when it comes to finances…or feelings. Everybody will have opinions, many will be wrong and somewhere deep in the middle is the fine line we are all searching for. All I can say is that the last two years have rocked me financially and yet I am more loosey goosey with my funds then ever before. Call it carefree, call it crazy, but I know I can call it life right now. And my friend, since I don’t know where that is heading, all I can do is pray for my next keeper to be a multi-billion dollar investment banker living off the coast of Costa Rica in his beachfront home with a yacht parked out front…kidding, sort of.
“When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in the world. Now that I am older, I know it is.” – Oscar Wilde
The Ginga Ninja