I’m so not normal.
The other “morning” I went to the gym. I usually arrive between 9-11a two days during the week. At this time I tend to join a large contingent of silver-haired people moving their bodies to get their blood pumping in an attempt to better their lives. It’s so inspirational. It’s so rewarding to know I am on the same schedule with these folks living off-peak. Have you ever been to the gym on Monday at lunchtime? It’s usually “chest day” and you’re not going to see a bench press station for an hour. I love going a few hours before, rush-hours, yeah.
Oh, back to my story. As I’m checking in, I hear the janitor lady talking to one of the other employees about her $400 car payment. She seems to be half complaining and half accepting.
I wonder a couple of things, 1) does the janitor have a pretty nice car in that she’s paying $400 per month, 2) is she paying that on a 4 yr, 5 yr or longer loan, 3) maybe she has to have a “reliable (nice) car to get to her janitorial assignments 4) does the janitor have a nicer car than me [yes].
I thought about this a little as I made my way around the 80% empty gym for an hour. I thought about our owned—often older—items and think how those savings have really helped our lifestyle.
At this point my workout is complete and it’s time to dept my silver-haired cohorts—actually, most left by 9:30a. I’m walking to my 19-year-old Toyota truck and the membership sales guy in his early 20’s is showing off his new(ish) Jeep Wrangler with big tires/lift kit. I hear him say something about the cost for this or that and see the two other guys giving him fist bumps.
[typing that out, I just realized he was in diapers when my truck was new. Holy $h!t]
Driving home—and drafting this post in my head—I wonder about how we’re all going to deal with older age and cash flow. How much money will people need? Where will the money come from? Are people spending too much too young? Are people spending their future required dollars today—with no regard, or little regard for the future? Will everyone even have a “future?” [That may be my first existential posted thought]
There is no doubt we should enjoy each day. I wonder if it’s possible for the masses of people to enjoy with a slightly lower cost structure? I believe spending a little less, and saving a little more, may lower the financial stress and magically allowing for a little more enjoyment of each day.
Other thought: They say talking about money is taboo, but I guess some people (above) do talk about money. They just use different examples than FI people use.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.