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
I`m considering my future me and my future salary, when it comes to my education and the student loan that comes along with it. A teacher with 4 years education will start at 71.000$ for pay, and by the time I graduate it`ll probably have increased to 75.000. So yeah, I`m letting my future self taking care of my student loans, because I know she`ll be able to afford it!
That’s a good point. I think student loans are one of those things that you can let future you deal with a bit more because they’re an investment in an education that will enable you to hopefully make a much better salary (and pay them off). In that case, I think you’re being smart in considering how you’re deferring to future you!
I think it’s a fine line between letting the future you pay for the “now” and then worrying so much about the future that you don’t let yourself have any fun now. I’m the latter version of this. I plan, plan, plan, and pay down debt and never let myself have any fun or do anything exciting 🙁
That’s a really good point. It definitely is all about balance (as are so many things!) when it comes to considering future you but still let present you have a leeeetle fun now and then. Strike a better balance, girl! You deserve a reward now and then for all your hard work! (And it will keep you from going crazy, making it easier to stay on track!)