Funny about money’s post about delayed gratification got me thinking about the real balance in life and it’s not the difficulty of balancing family and work during the early childhood years; it’s the delicate balance between wants and needs as you get older!
When you’re young, you can delay gratification more easily because you have time on your side. It’s really hard to do for many people but you can tell yourself that you have time to buy that expensive purse or take that dream vacation. However, as you get older and start seeing friends and family get sick or pass away, I imagine it would be much harder to deny yourself life’s little pleasures. At the same time, you may be reaching your peak earnings, which isn’t as high as you expected, or playing catch-up on retirement savings. Or you may even be at retirement age and while you want to spend freely, it’s harder when you don’t see money coming in.
Right now, in my 40s, I am balancing my spending and saving needs in an okay fashion. I have young kids so a lot of spending is on their needs/wants. At the same time, I think it’s important that I buy clothes or shoes or purses that I really like, once in a while, so that I don’t reach old age and flip out (spend like crazy) when I can least afford to.
Do you think it gets harder to delay gratification when you get older?