Thursday, December 2, 2010
I Am The Lamest Blogger Ever
I just wanted to put a post out there that I am the lamest blogger ever. I don't know how other bloggers post on a daily basis. I'm just trying to keep up on a weekly basis and am failing miserably.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, I want to add that I haven't been thinking much about money lately specifically saving money. If anything, I've been thinking about how to spend money. It kind of goes against my nature but it is how I've been feeling. Two weeks ago, the rabbi, where my children go to Hebrew school, passed away. It wasn't sudden, as he had been ill for a few years. But he was 34 years old. Thirty-four! Gosh, it makes one stop and think. He left behind a wife and four young children. There is a website dedicated to his memory, and I have found myself looking at it from time to time, browsing pictures of him from happier days. And when I see pictures of him smiling at family events or when I read stories about him telling jokes to his congregants, I think to myself, does saving money really matter when it all comes down to this?
Well, yes I still believe it does, to an extent. But there is saving, and then there's going overboard. Put money away for emergencies. Yes. Scrimp every last dollar you make. No. Save money for retirement. Yes. Turn off the heat each night before you go to bed. No. Put money away for your children's education. Yes. Don't ever take them on a vacation. No.
None of us know how many years we have left on this earth. G-d willing, we will all live to 120. But if we die tomorrow, will we be sorry that we didn't order that steak dish that we love so much at our favorite restaurant? Will we be sorry that we never took that vacation to Paris? Will we be sorry that we didn't spend money to learn how to play the piano?
On the other hand, if we live to 120, G-d willing, we do need to live on something other than boxed noodles. And we cannot depend on the government or others to take care of us. So we do have to put money aside in case something catastrophic happens. And we need to have a plan to pay for medical expenses for ourselves. So I will always think saving money is smart. And I do think we should all be doing it. But, let's not become a hoarder of money. Once you have an emergency fund, are happy with your retirement savings, and feel comfortable with the amount you have saved for your children's education, spend freely on what you enjoy. Take that trip to Paris or bring your kids to Disney World. Eat out at your favorite restaurant on special occasions. Sign up for piano lessons.
As far as we know, we only get one chance at life on earth. And sometimes that life is short. Many times it is not. So, save wisely, but enjoy yourself, too. As none of us know which life expectancy camp we fall into. For some, the length of our life is not nearly long enough as was the case with our beloved rabbi. Fortunately, he was a great role model for living life to its fullest. He seemed to enjoy every moment on earth and every person he was in contact with. While one can certainly live a full or even fuller life without spending a lot of money, I have found myself loosening my reins a bit on our spending because of his untimely death. I don't want to regret not doing things because I didn't want to spend the money - money that we had to spend. Saving just for the sake of it is not always the best option.
So I am looking at our savings and spending with new eyes with the idea that if we can afford it, and it will enrich our lives, then we will do it. Having said all that, I know that the best things in life are free. My family and friends, and the beauty of nature don't cost a dime. Although, that plane trip to see nature's finest might. Thanks for being a good example, Rabbi Levi. We miss you.