Many people will tell you that before you spend a dollar, you should think about the future value of that dollar if you invest it. The thinking is that if you save money now, it will grow via investments, and then someday you'll have more money to do the things you want to do, and presumably, more time to do them when you're retired. This is not bad advice. I expect to live until I'm well into my 90s based on my family history, and I want to have resources to enjoy that part of my life.
But on the other hand, you can't save everything for a rainy day. Sometimes I ask myself this question:
- If I don't buy/do this now, will I still be able to enjoy what I'm buying/doing later?
Having a big house: postpone it, I can enjoy that when I'm retired
Elegant furniture: postpone it until I'm old and need to spend a lot of time sitting down or in bed
A car: postpone it, I'll have more of a need for it later, at least until I start to really lose my faculties, or get osteoporosis and turn into one of those little old ladies who can’t see over the steering wheel.
Travel: hmm, I might not enjoy mountain hikes and swimming with wild dolphins when I'm arthritic and decrepit. Better do it now.
Sailing: again, I might not be physically able to do it later, so I should do it now.
Gym membership: there may be cheaper ways to stay fit but if I even want to make it to old age, I don't think I should skimp on exercising.
Education: sure, do it now because it's an investment in the future anyway and I might have Alzheimer's later.
Clothes: who knows, maybe when I'm 80 I'll be rocking Miu Miu instead of muu-muu, but I think it's a better bet to enjoy wearing nice clothes now while I'm still young and slender!
I certainly don't make all my decisions using the "a bus could run over me tomorrow" argument: I do think you should plan for the rainy day. But I also think you should make hay while the sun shines, or at least before your knees give out.