Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maybe I'd rather travel the world than buy a big house and fill it with stuff...

Ended up talking with my boyfriend until past 10 tonight despite an early morning tomorrow for him.  We were talking about our timelines for life, our thoughts on living abroad, and whether he should buy whole life insurance through his employer.  We got so riled up that the conversation lasted longer than expected.  I love being nerdy and financially compatible :)

Sebastien shared a fun (and appealing to me due to its mathematical nature) perspective on happiness.  You can think of happiness as equating to a ratio of what you have over what you want.  So in the east the common approach to maximizing happiness is to decrease the denominator -- the less you want, the larger the relative size of what you have.  In the west, we try to maximize what we have to increase happiness.  Of course, the problem with this is that to sell more products, shiny gadgets, bigger houses, and larger vacations, people need to be convinced that this is what they want.  And then bam, even if you get to achieve it, your ratio hasn't increased at all, because your wants (the denominator) have grown at the same pace as your haves (the numerator).

This ties in really well with one of my favorite posts on one of my favorite blogs -- Mr Money Mustache on why debt is an emergency: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

I went to New York this weekend (celebrated Sebastien's birthday with his family by going to Maze for dinner and to see Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway), which was a fantastic time, and then spent a significant part of the bus ride back on Sunday reading MMM.  I recognize that I now live a fairly expensive life -- I live alone in an expensive city, and I go out for dinner and drinks.  I think about how all the money I put towards rent is money that I'm missing out on saving.  And then I think about all of the things people think they need for a happy life -- new cars, large houses, the latest computers, trendy clothes.  Then I think about how much money we spend on all of these things that will never produce a satisfying life.  And then I wonder -- if I recognize that wanting those things is a false need, do I need to spend my entire life working to make money?  (Which ostensibly I would do to pay for it all)

I love thinking about all the possibilities in life.  More than anything, I love that I have no idea where I'll be 10 years from now.  I know some people who are very serious and certain about their future, what about you?  Do you love the thrill of being young and not knowing what's next?  Or would you rather be able to plan your financial future in its entirety and stick to the plan?

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