Whether it’s from a parent or the hard way, we learn early on in life that discipline is the key to achieving our goals. Want to be fit? Work out. Want good grades? Study. But somehow, we can’t seem to grasp that concept when it comes to financial security.
The lack of discipline I witness in financially unstable people who are on the brink of disaster simply astounds me. A woman I know who has a hard time meeting basic needs such as keeping her house warm in the cold New England winters or eating 3 meals a day regularly, just came back from a European vacation. He reasoning was: “I work hard and I deserve this.” To which I replied: “You work hard so you deserve groceries.”
I’ve decided to stop feeling bad for people like that a while ago. Anyone who doesn’t care enough about themselves to ensure their personal comfort above keeping up with their (more well-off) friends’ exotic vacations is not someone who deserves my concern. On the they hand, it does not preclude me from taking notes on how NOT to conduct myself if I wish to improve my station in life as well as my family’s.
A wise disciplined woman would have earmarked those funds for the upcoming brutal winter we are scheduled to be facing. She would understand that being healthy now would afford her more working years to increase her earnings as well as savings, and a better disposition to fully enjoy those vacations she wishes to take. Instead, she succumbed to the lure of instant gratification, furthering her decline into economic insecurity.
This is not about enjoying life now “because you can’t take it with you.” Life is not very enjoyable when you’re hungry, cold and late on the rent.