Take the Trip

{Disclaimer: I am no financial expert, nor am I giving you financial advice. This is strictly my opinion and life lesson. You do you, girl.}

Money is a hot topic that some feel like they should not discuss. It can cause, and has caused, disturbances in marriages and among families. It is often a worry each month and the amount of money you have dictates many decisions you make. 

Many of you have probably googled something of this sort: “How to budget money” or “How to save money.” There is tons of information out there about: saving, how important 401ks are, how much you should be saving each month, pay extra on all your debt. PUT YOUR MONEY IN A BANK, IN THE STOCK MARKET, INVEST, INVEST, INVEST.

First and foremost, I echo the importance of having a retirement account and a savings account. But, I am also a firm believer in living your life, taking that trip, experiencing the world and all that it offers.

A very good friend of mine, near retirement {well, I am sure he is at retirement age, but he owns his own business and he loves his work}, told me one day, “Stephanie, I know you have heard me tell you how important saving money is, and it is important, but so is spending it. I have saved my entire life. I paid cash for my house many, many years ago. But, I want you to know that with all the saving I have done, all the trips we didn’t take, all the things we didn’t do, I will never be able to spend the money I spent my life saving. Now my wife doesn’t want to travel as much. Take the trips now.”

This man is very financially savvy and to hear him say that was like a bomb. 

Many of us in the Millennial generation have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands dollars of student loan debt. We are buying homes and cars, starting families. We are living paycheck to paycheck because we are strapped to our student loan payment each month. You may have even googled Dave Ramsey and his programs. It’s all about saving and paying off debt.

Great stuff, but when do you get to live? When do you get to take that vacation guilt free? In your 50s? In your 60s?

I once met an older gentleman and his wife that were getting ready to go on a 3-month cruise — a trip they had waited years to take. The day before they were set to hit the sea, the man fell ill. His symptoms seemed minor, but he went to the doctor anyway. After a few tests and scans, he got the news that his body had been consumed by cancer and he was given fewer than six months to live. That trip never happened. All the other trips they had planned didn’t happen. 

My dad passed away before he was able to retire. At the young age of 59, all the money he worked for would continue to sit in an account, untouched. I have no idea what his retirement account looked like; he may have had a million dollars or $50. It doesn’t matter because he never got to touch it.

As a child we took vacations and those are some of my fondest memories. We didn’t have a large bank account so our trips were simple, but they were absolutely lovely. After losing my dad, it was a wake up call of sorts — you can save all the money you make, but if you don’t experience it, then what is it worth?

Take the trip.

See the world.

Do what you enjoy.

Enjoy your money.

We will eventually pay off our student loans. We will eventually pay off our homes, our cars. We will one day be sitting in our rocking chairs with our stories and our memories. What will your story look like?

Take the trip.

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One Response to Take the Trip

  1. Momaw December 9, 2017 at 11:05 pm #

    Great article and great advice written by a special person to me and our family.

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