Why do people get into credit card debt? Why do people buy houses they cannot afford? Why do people have children they cannot support?
It's because they all subscribe to the Fallacy of Huge Money in the Future. (a/k/a I Will Win The Lotto retirement plan.)
There is a message just like that on the board today. The couple cannot afford a big wedding, but believe they can save up the money in the next couple of years. Thus, they want to get married at the courthouse now, then have a "wedding" with their Huge Money saved in the Future.
Ladies, I am Future You. I am 56 years old, and have married for 34 years to my one and only husband. Trust me when I tell you this: You will never have Huge Money in the Future.
Sure, you hope your income will rise with time. In most cases, if you work hard, it will. However, and this is important, your expenses will also rise with time. Your standard of living will rise with time. Your children, should you have children, will have needs that rise with time.
You will be doing FABULOUS to live within or below your means in the next 34 years, when you stop to consider all the outside forces that pull at your pocketbook.
Take, for example, the subject of smartphones. When I was first married, there was no such thing as a smartphone. We had one (1) dial (yes DIAL) phone in our house. Period. Now, we both have very basic cell phones and a landline with four handsets.
What do we hear all around us? "Why don't you have an iPhone? iPhones are sooooo cool. I just love my iPhone. Look at all my neat apps on my iPhone." bla bla bla. I'm tempted to go out and get an iPhone, because yes they are soooo cool. But, hey, I don't have Huge Money to do stuff like that, not even now after 34 years of marriage.
I could, I guess if I really wanted to, but that would mean cutting out something else if I want to live within 80% of my income.
My bottom line here is to not get in the habit of making big plans Now for Tomorrow's money. Live your life on the money you have now. Take your income, set aside 10% for savings, 10% for charity and live on 80% of your income. It takes a lot of discipline, but please believe me, you will be glad you did. You will also be glad you are not paying Now for Yesterday's big party.
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