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Balancing living life and meeting your financial goals can be tough. It's all about finding balance and leveling things out and figuring what's most important to you and your future self. Click through to read more.

“There’s more to life than just________”

…Working long hours, obsessing over things, staying in a job you hate because of the health insurance. Can you fill in the blank?

Finding balance in financial goals. It’s tricky. Present day commands a lot of our attention. In work, there are always emails to tend to, deadlines to hit, and making sure that certain someone doesn’t steal your lunch from the office frig…again (I’m looking at you Bob from HR). In our personal lives, the present day pulls us in with household up keep; TV shows that need viewing (what happened on Stranger Things?) and the “hate to admit it but so addictive” social media.

It’s easy to get stuck in the day-to-day. Laying model to the elusive “I’m so busy” saying. We crave the outcome but don’t talk about the process. Think about it in terms of cooking, most people dread the “making” part but love the “eating” part.

Delayed gratification. When is it okay and when should you just go ahead and enjoy the right now?

Take student loans for example. They suck. This is a universally accepted truth (sort of). You want to live your life and roll around with the extra money you would have if you didn’t have the debt (what I imagine people without student loans do…).

They still need to be paid back. Unfortunately.

So you make a plan to pay them off within a certain amount of time. You’re amped up, paying more than the minimum, and determined to banish them from your existence.

But then daily life gets in the way. There’s a weekend getaway you want to go on, stuff you want to buy, and a fun night out that you want to do even though it’s not in your budget.

My brother, while in the midst of student loan repayment, went on three vacations last year because he wanted to get out and see more. While the vacations were far from lavish (two budget cruises and a 4-day trip in LA & SF) and his student loan debt was small, it still creates a question. How much do you want to live in the now vs. keeping in mind your future self?

The job I’m in right now, I don’t make a lot of money. But even with a low salary, I still make it a priority to put extra towards my student loans and into my retirement account. I want my future self to be taken care of and well adjusted. My present day self shouldn’t be selfish and hog everything.

Many of my co-workers, most in their early to late twenties, don’t really share this view. For them, they prefer to travel and see as much as they can. Retirement planning is a non-priority afterthought.

Being in Thailand, all of us have a desire to explore. We go out on weekend trips and holiday’s together, events in Bangkok, and fly to other nearby countries. The wanderlust “eat, pray, love” kind of thing. Living it up.

Trying to strike a balance between being adventurous and staying committed to my financial goals, I make a point to lessen the number of times I go out. I work a second job on the weekends to make extra money.

Some of my co-workers tell me I need to relax more and “live in the moment” but I feel fine. Working the two jobs and sacrificing the occasional weekend trip don’t faze me because I know what my goals are and when I want to reach them. I’m staying committed, even if it is hard every now and then.

Because it’s important to me. It important that I pay off my student loans in a timely fashion, saving for the future, and build up things (like this website!) that I’m proud of. I’m not letting go of my wanderlust, just keeping it balanced.

Often times we focus on what we want now over what we want most.

We want to be debt-free but we also really want to take that dream vacation. We want to earn more money but don’t like giving up our free time. It’s a push and pull and I’m working on finding a balance.


How do you find balance in your financial goals? 

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Colin // RebelwithaPlan

Colin Ashby is the writer behind Rebel with a Plan, a website dedicated to people who choose to rebel against the norm of living in debt and feeling financially unenlightened. He believes everyone has an eccentric quality to embrace and that lattes are sometimes a necessity (despite what the personal finance community tells you).

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2 Comments on Finding Balance In Financial Goals

  1. Tonya
    September 15, 2016 at 1:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh man this is my life! I’m a true Libra and I constantly have this vs that moments. I really don’t know what to do about it quite frankly! I think you’re very wise for realizing that push/pull at an early age because most people do pick the low hanging fruit, and what is in front of them at the moment, because when you’re young all you think about is ALL the awesome time you have. But, if you’re not careful, it goes by quickly and while some of the memories are great, you don’t have much to ensure you’re future. It’s something to chew on…at any age.

    Reply
  2. Piggybanknomics
    September 15, 2016 at 9:11 pm (3 years ago)

    My friends are always living the extravagant life. They [women] always have beautiful designer clothes on, nails done, eye lashes done, hair that has just been dyed, new cars etc (you get the point!). They go out for fancy meals, a few times a week. Yes, I partake in the occasional “indulgence” but it always leaves me feeling guilty. They always say I’m being “cheap” but I like to call it frugal. Debt makes me uncomfortable and makes me have a great deal of anxiety. I would rather hit my financial goals than buy that $500 bag anyways. I’m glad someone else can relate!

    Reply

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