Financial Planning for Tomorrow While Living for Today


A big problem that many people have when planning for the future is that they let it affect the way they live today.

I am sure that at some point most of us dream ahead to our retirement years or to when we finally pay off our house or achieve whatever other financial goal we have set ourselves.

You might even find that you get jealous when you see an older person who has achieved one or all of your financial goals. This is simple human nature but by taking a second to think about it you can make an effort to try and live for today as well plan for the future.

Enjoy the Small Steps on the Journey

When I travel I sometimes enjoy the journey as much as the time spent in my destination. There is something magical for me about moving from one place to another and seeing the landscape and people slowly change. So why can’t the journey to financial health be as enjoyable as this is? Instead, we tend to see only the final goal and aim for this without considering how much fun the journey could be. Why not take it one step at a time and celebrate each advance you make along the way? The first step towards doing this is to break down your goals into smaller chunks. In this way you can celebrate when you only owe $100,000 on your house and then again when you owe $80,000 and again with $60,000 and so on. These are important steps along the way and they are far closer than the day when you owe zero on it.

Enjoy Not Spending Money

Is it possible to enjoy yourself while living a frugal lifestyle and not spending much money? Of course it is. One of the happiest phases of my life was when I was saving up for my house and spent as little as humanly possible every month for the best part of two years. My partner and I turned it into something fun by looking for creative ways to do things without spending money. We would look for the biggest clothes bargains we could find, walk everywhere together and cook at home all the time. After a while you can start enjoying not spending money. Once you do this you will also realize that you never again have to worry so much about money. If you have more money in the future then this is fine but you will know that living a simple lifestyle is not only possible but also good fun. Don’t look at living frugally as being something to grit your teeth and get on with. Instead, look on it as a fun and challenging way of achieving your financial dreams.

Enjoy the Freedom

If you are still young and don’t own a lot of stuff then this is possibly the time in your adult life when you will feel most free. Later on when you own more things and have more money you may be happier with your finances. However, you will also have the responsibility that comes with owning stuff. These are two distinct phases in your life and it is important to know how to appreciate both of them. In terms of living for today this means enjoying your youth and freedom as much as you can. As we just saw in the last point, it is possible to enjoy life without spending much money. However, you need to do this without taking your eye off the ball in terms of your saving plans for the future.

Can you plan for tomorrow while living for today?

4 Responses to Financial Planning for Tomorrow While Living for Today

  1. SavvyJames says:

    Great topic. Finding the right balance – living for today, preparing for tomorrow – often is one of the toughest parts of financial/retirement planning. The strategy that has worked well for me was to develop a detailed plan which tracks my progress relative to my retirement goal. I always know if I’m on track to meet my goal and with that information at hand, enjoy life on a daily basis. If someone is saving/investing, but doing it blindly, there will always be that voice in the back of their head asking, “Am I saving enough? Am I spending too much?”

  2. I take a balanced approach to living, and I think that’s the key. I don’t want to live on bread and water now, saving like mad for the future….when there’s always the possibility that I’ll get hit by a bus tomorrow. On the other hand, I don’t want to live recklessly now and live to 120 years old either. I want to enjoy life and racking up great experiences while I’m still (relatively) young, yet saving enough to be able to continue the same lifestyle when I get older.

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