Recently I had one of those conversations with a friend about living a life of leisure and never having to work. Of course, secretly, or maybe not so, a life of leisure wouldn’t suit me at all. I definitely need to keep myself busy and be passionate about something, and if I get paid for it, then even better.
But in this conversation, we hit upon an important point. To work because you want to, and not because you have it, is a really small but majorly significant thing. For some of us, it means the difference between misery and happiness. Knowing that you are doing what you do because you love it is an intensely rewarding experience.
Which brings me to the subject of debt. It’s probably not a surprise to anyone (or actually, maybe it is), but I used to carry a large amount of debt. Embarrassingly, it’s not even “good” debt, but more the accumulation of random spending sprees on nothing important. But it adds up when you don’t pay attention, and my creditors loved me.
They still love me, but maybe not so much now that I net them no interest (on the other hand, they don’t have to worry about my defaulting…). I paid off my debts in a very short amount of time, once I decided it had to go. And it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
Because here’s the thing. There’s nothing wrong with random spending sprees on nothing whatsoever. What’s wrong is when you don’t actually have that money to spend. Living on borrowed funds isn’t much more fun than living on borrowed time.
Ironically, being in debt was helpful for my ability to save – once the debt was paid off, the additional money went into savings, and frugal lifestyle changes I had incorporated managed to stick. There’s room to breathe, of course, hence my current 2 month vacation, but there’s also a sense of fiscal responsibility (even on vacation) that I think will always stick with me.
So today, when I walk into the restaurant for dinner, I’m going to order whatever sounds tastiest, and not have to worry about whether I can afford it. Because I can. No regrets.