One of the things that I think gets many people in hot water with their finances is the idea of a “future you”…a somehow much more well-off version of yourself in the future who will be able to handle all sorts of things you can’t handle right now.
Really want that widescreen TV but you don’t have the funds to pay for it right now? Just open up a store credit card…future you can take care of the payments.
Hate the idea of giving up your daily lattes and pricey car lease? That’s OK…future you will be making a lot more money, so you can worry about putting aside for savings then.
Want to blow that raise on extra dinners out and a celebratory vacation? Why not…future you can deal with building up a retirement account. Right now, you deserve to enjoy what you’re earning!
The trouble with a “now” mindset
I know a lot of people who are stuck in debt or carrying big mortgages they’re having trouble swinging, who have all said at one point or another that they feel like they “sold” their future for stuff.
They weren’t thinking, in the heat of the moment, about how long they would be saddled with payments or what they would do years down the road if someone got sick or lost their job. They were keeping up with the Joneses, or living in the now, and they never stopped to consider what all that extra spending would do to their “future selves.” It makes me so sad, but I know it’s part of our whole “instant gratification” culture. It’s no wonder so many people fall into these traps.
Are you considering “future you” when you make your financial decisions?
photo credit: SalFalko