Social Question

Jellie's avatar

Would you invest your money or spend it having fun?

Asked by Jellie (6454 points ) June 8th, 2011

So this question came to me when I answer this one

Im young-ish and earn enough to have a really really great closet/shoe rack and a enjoy myself fully. However I have so far invested half of my earnings and the other half I do have is spent in necessities. I do of course spend money on shopping and going out with friends but I could do more and have an even better time. Some of my friends say I should really be spending this money at this point in my life. I think of it in the opposite way: I’d rather save/invest now when I can afford to.

What do you do? Or what would you do in my situation?

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15 Answers

AshLeigh's avatar

Isn’t there like a 50/50 thing we can do here? :)

Jellie's avatar

Thats what I meant really. When I do 50/50 I’m left with enough to spend on necessities (phone bills, fees for classes I’m taking, petrol/gas etc) and to dine out with friends once in a while. I can’t spend on anything particularly indulgent. For example, there was a concert I wanted to goto recently but couldn’t afford the ticket because I’d already written a cheque for this savings scheme I was putting money into. Similarly, my friends are going on a little trip which again I can’t afford.

What I mean to say basically… if you were in your early 20s and could either invest or spend, what would you do?

YARNLADY's avatar

We invest as much as possible, without cutting ourselves short on the fun. Keep in mind that both my husband and I are very good at finding bargains and are very frugal.

Bellatrix's avatar

There has to be balance @sarahhhhh. If you earning a good wage (and it sounds like you are), you should be able to put money into savings, pay for the essentials AND allow yourself an occasional concert ticket. What are you saving for? Is it for something specific or just saving for the future?

If I were in my early 20s, I would do all three. Saving to the point where you feel deprived is not good. Spending to the point where you have no savings is also not good. Find balance. Perhaps put some money into a short term savings plan that you can access more easily and if you don’t use it, you can invest it in a longer term option.

Judi's avatar

Once you buy a goose the eggs keep coming. I admire your discipline. When you’re retired at 45 your friends will all wish they had done what you’re doing.

Jellie's avatar

Thanks @Judi it makes me feel better. I was pretty down about missing out on things. @YARNLADY I lurve me a good bargain!

Judi's avatar

Lol, me and @YARNLADY, are the two grandmas here telling you it’s good to make sure you take care of your grandma self.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Your friends are wrong, the grasshoppers.

Take it from me, a lady close to middle age who has never earned enough money to save for retirement or invest, has only had one job that had a 401K plan, has never shopped at a high-end store for shoes or anything else, doesn’t have a husband or partner going into my next stage of life who can share the burden with me and is now starting to panic a bit: Continue saving as you’re doing.

You’re young enough that you might want to invest in the stock market even. Talk to a financial adviser. Take those risks that will get you even better, higher-paying jobs now, the way men do.

Either way, if you’re in the US, you cannot depend on whatever social security will be around when you’re older. You have to be able to take care of yourself.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@sarahhhhh “I’d rather save/invest now when I can afford to.”

That is what I did and have not regretted it for a minute! I didn’t spend on junk. I didn’t buy everything I wanted. I didn’t waste money on drugs or alcohol (much). On the other hand, I was not shy about spending on items that would last a long time. I considered courses and certain life experiences investments. You are planning for your future. Nice.
Do you have a much older sister? ;)

Look up the Marshmallow test.

dabbler's avatar

Saving is a great idea and you won’t regret it, sounds like you’re not depriving yourself much. There will probably always be something attractive just out of practical reach at most income levels so feeling “deprived” has mostly to do with your attitude of contentment.
The corollary to saving is staying out of debt, which can be a huge factor. If you hit tough times you will be so thankful that you haven’t much debt and have a rainy day fund. A lot of people just flounder.

marinelife's avatar

Keep on with your program. Out of your spending money, you might choose once in a while to forgo something (a new pair of shoes? a cup of coffee out?) and set that money aside in a fund to buy concert tickets or trips.

Neurotic_David's avatar

Bluntness time:

None of the crap you could buy (and it’s all crap) is meaningful. Another pair of shoes? Another dress? A really nice handbag? Please. This is not the stuff that life is made of. It’s your friendships, your loves, your great and awful moments in time—these are the kinds of things which make a life.

Save your money. You might need it later on in life for something real, like when you’re married and have kids and want to give them a good life, or when you and your future companion want to make a down payment on a future, or when you have something bad happen and need cash. You might want to go on a good honeymoon, and that could be expensive. You might want to bring your 8 year-old daughter to The Nutcracker in NY, and that’s expensive. You might want to do real things with real meaning in life, later down the road, and by saving now, you’ll be able to do so without incurring debt.

From your question and follow-up post, you sound like a fiscally prudent individual. Be proud of that, and when you see your friends fluttering away their money, quietly be confident that you know you’re doing the right thing by not buying crap, but rather, saving for the future.

I applaud you.

Cruiser's avatar

I was told early on if you take 10% of your earnings and invest it religiously you will be pretty secure in your retirement. Since you are youngish this amount would seem reasonable to invest and never ever spend. Since you seem to be able to put away 50% and live well enough…this now becomes an investment planning decision to where do you want to have a large investment portfolio and retire early or goof off and spend away and then be more diligent later on in life?

I would find a stock broker investment adviser and hear what an expert has to say. Motely Fool is a great resource for all kinds of investing information.

I wish I did what you did at your age! Good for you!

YoBob's avatar

Balance in all things. I think you are taking the right approach. Have a good time, but keep in mind that the more you save the sooner you can reach that happy time when you work because you want to, not because you need the income to live on.

Jellie's avatar

@aprilsimnel I wish you the best. You’ve made me realize I’d much rather lose out now than later in life…
@worriedguy the Marshmallow test is so adorable/amazing. Lol although now I’m craving marshies. Don’t have a much older sister sorry hehe
@marinelife you would think it’s pretty obvious but it never occurred to me to skip out on the smaller luxuries to save up for something else :P

Aaaahhh I’m breathing easier thanks to you jellies (as always)

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