The topic of regret is a controversial one, especially in personal finance. Whole treatises have been written on the premise that if you live frugally during your twenties and make sound financial decisions for the future, you’ll regret wasting your youth as a joyless loner.
We reject this characterization of a frugal youth for a couple reasons:
- It doesn’t take a lot of (or any) money to have fun with your friends.
- You can (and should) pursue fun long past your twenties.
- You’re at more risk of regretting not saving for retirement than you are at risk of regretting not going out to da clerb that one time.
And yet fear of this kind of regret persists.
I get it! No one wants to constantly feel left out. FOMO is real! But I also firmly believe that no one wants to get to retirement age only to realize that all the money they could’ve lived on for another twenty to thirty years got puked out after a night of binge drinking.
Depending on a single, barely funded income stream after retirement, one that could easily go up in a puff of smoke… that’s something worth regretting.
One of our adorable and beloved Tumblr babies asked recently:
“I’ve been reading this blog for the past three hours or so and just finished the post regarding financial vampires. This reminded me of a dilemma I’ve been struggling with. I’m young and I want to have fun. I don’t want to be 35 and realize that I wasted my 20s worrying about saving money and being responsible. But on the other hand… I really want to be financially well off. Help me convince myself that I won’t regret not going out every Saturday night.”
Honey child, we are here for you.