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Monday, January 25, 2010

Today or Tomorrow?

Over breakfast this morning, Jojo and I got into a huge debate. It started off innocently enough. We were talking about the lifestyle choices of some people we knew. How, on one hand, some save all their money for the future and live so frugally today. And how, on the other hand, some go all out, living it up today, without any thought for the future. Pretty soon, we were both getting heated up.

Not surprisingly, Jojo took the side of those who enjoy their money today. His main point is you never know what will happen tomorrow and wouldn't it be sad to find yourself unable to have the fun that you could have had. Then it would be too late and all you are left with are regrets and “what ifs”. I, on the other hand, argued that we should work hard when we can so we can one day enjoy the fruits of our labors. That we should live more simply today and save for that proverbial rainy day. That we should always be prepared for tomorrow. Basically we went on and on about how one lifestyle choice was better than the other.

Now, of course, we know that the ideal situation is having a little bit of both lifestyles. Work hard, reward yourself by having fun and enjoying your current life, but also put a little aside for the future. We all know that is the perfect scenario. But it hardly works like that for most people. I mean it’s no ones fault really. It’s just how we are wired, how we are raised or what circumstances we find ourselves in. Either we don’t have enough money to enjoy life now and save for tomorrow, or we don’t have the foresight and the mindset to think that way. Lucky are the few who have found the perfect balance or at least someone in their life that balances them out.

In my case, it's one of the (many) reasons why Jojo and I work well together. He balances out my “kakuriputan” (frugality) and makes me stop and smell the roses. He shows me that life is short and we should live it doing the things we like to do and enjoy it with the things we like to have. Here is a pretty basic example. He is the one who convinces me to get the latest gizmos. Now, as you may know, I am ultra tech-phobic and have an aversion for spending money on new techie stuff. I hem and haw about getting new stuff even if admittedly, I end up loving them anyway. For example, we had a huge argument several years ago about buying a GPS. This was way back when getting one was not a common thing to do and they still cost a lot of money. Jojo was selling the benefits of never having to look at another map. How we could go anywhere (in the Continental US) and never get lost. How we could find the closest gas station when we were in the middle of nowhere and low on fuel. How we could find the shortest route when we were running late. Etc., etc. All I could think about was spending over $500.00 on another gadget we would probably use once in a blue moon. How every week we went to the same places anyway and didn’t need an electronic map to tell us how to get there. How we could rely on Mapquest when we did need to go to somewhere new. And how it would probably not be as reliable as having an actual map on hand. Well, Jojo managed to convince me and today I can not imagine life without Garmin. That’s how it was when Jojo first talked me into buying an Ipod, Mac, Blackberry, digital camera, Nintendo Wii, massage chair, the list goes on. And yes, when I reap the benefits of those rewards, I thank him for it.

I, on the other hand, temper his zest for living life to the excess. I slow things down a bit when things can go just a tad too crazy. I am the one who sees things more long-term and plans on how to get us there. I am the one who talks him out of buying another pair of Cole Haan leather shoes because they look exactly like a pair he already has. I am the one who vetoes the idea of upgrading our cellphones every time a newer model comes out. I am the one who insists we pay our credit cards in full and not incur any interest. I am the one who insists we maximize our contributions to our 401ks and our Roth IRAs. Yep, that’s all me, and one day when we are old and gray, and still have our savings to live on, Jojo will thank me for it too.

8 comments:

mom said...

Indeed you and Jojo are so right for each other. Keep it up and may you both enjoy today without worries for tomorrow.

leslie ty said...

i'm so torn... I really can't choose...Both of you gave really great points...but i agree with Auntie Judy...i think you really found your soulmate in Jojo...you guys compliment each other...perfect combination =)

Jeff said...

i go for the middle too... a balance of both is good. enjoy life today but also think about the future.

Junarakasa said...

Hey Les and Jeff, oo nga, we have to be in-between. Enjoy life din now but also keeping in mind the future. Speaking of enjoying now ... when are we all traveling together again? =)

joyeee said...

I agree that both of you balance each other out!:) Middle is always ideal dets..:) But like you, I also believe in saving for a rainy day! I guess that's what Dad taught us!

Junarakasa said...

Hey Joybs, I was thinking that din ... I agree that dad raised us to be really careful with money ... and I think the two of us (especially) have taken that to heart =)

Auntie Lillian said...

It's very good that you and Jojo discuss these things - although it might get heated, at least you know where the other guy ]is coming from. Good communications provides a solid foundation for a good marriage. I like taking the middle road too.

leslie ty said...

Let's plan a trip with Jeff =) we can be roomies again =) Jeff...wala kang choice =)