A few years ago – YOLO became a buzz phrase.
It snapped people out of their comfort zones, it got them to embrace life and seize the moment. Selling everything to go travelling – Jumping off cliffs, surfing with dolphins, visiting (formerly) long lost temples.
I love the concept, I understand the drive, but perhaps too many live in the extremes. You only live once and one day, you will die, but every other day you won’t. Today, probably won’t be your last.
We only have one life and should live it to the max, but this is within the constraints of the world we live in. Living only for (not in) the moment, is like spending everything you have on a lottery ticket. You could win, but you probably won’t.
I prefer to plan like there is a tomorrow, a lot of tomorrows, I plan as if I’ll live beyond 100, without missing out on now. Enjoying the moments in-between.
It’s not binary. You can have two things you value that seem diametrically opposed, I love being fit and healthy, I also love eating good food.
Our family may be the most important thing to us, but work often takes priority because of the future it provides.
Extract from Who Let Me Adult:
Perhaps a more practical example of the compound effect would be useful, in the form of compound interest. Let’s take two friends, Joe and Sam. Joe starts putting £150 per month into her pension from when she is 18 years old. At 28, Joe decides to become a surf instructor and doesn’t save another penny.
Sam delays putting money into his pension, while he attends University and goes travelling. He starts at 28 and contributes £150 per month, continuing to do so for another 37 years. They both retire when they are 65 having achieved an annual 10% return on their investments.
Who has more money at retirement?
Did you get Joe? – Sam (the traveller) could retire with about £600k, while Joe will have almost 75% more. Joe the surf instructor, will retire with £1.045m, even though Sam invested 3.7 times more cash over the period. The point is an obvious one, start to saving as soon as you can.
I personally live by the 80/20 philosophy. 80% for now and a minimum of 20% for future Dave. Investing time, attention, and finances to the future. Education, paying down debt and investing.
An alternative that might work for you, it is the “Millionaire Mindset” set of buckets:
- 50% – The living jar – essentials of life
- 10% – The freedom jar – financial freedom through investment
- 10% – The long-term jar – safety net through savings
- 10% – The education jar – increase your earning potential, development and agility
- 10% – The play jar – have fun
- 10% – The giving jar – make the world a better place
Remember, you only live once, but that probably isn’t only today.