You can’t take it with you, right?
With the return of the NHL to Winnipeg, there ensued a vigorous debate in our house on whether to buy season’s tickets. Practically speaking, it was really not an option for us to spend the better part of $10,000 (per year) on pre-paid entertainment, especially when you consider how obscenely busy our calendar is.
So we decided to go in with friends (and strangers) 5 ways to split a pair of tickets. And although in my last post, I extolled the virtues of fiscal restraint when it came to entertainment, I was prepared to find the cash (even if it was necessary to sell a dependent or two) to jump on the bandwagon.
In the end, it was a non issue – all the available tickets were gone before we were able to slap down the credit card. But the whole exercise made me think.
You can’t take it with you.
We work hard. We earn good money, have made some frugal choices, and we enjoy a certain lifestyle as a result. Yes, there are things I want (like hot winter holidays and a car from the current decade), and things we are committed to doing (hockey for the boy, piano lessons – and a piano – for the girl). We live at or within our means, and we have potential. If I put my mind to it, I could probably use some yet untapped Mad Skillz to supplement my income. I like being able to go pick up a new TV when I want one. That is why I work.
I am also interested (peripherally), in the idea of decluttering, simplifying, divesting myself of Stuff. Not enough to go all monastic and limit my Stuff to 100 things but I can be reasonable. I don’t need a Porsche or a 13,000 square foot house. I like my creature comforts (wine on tap, that kind of thing), but the line of credit generally stays under control. Gayle Vaz Oxlade would not choose us as a poster family for uncontrolled spending.
But there is also the spectre of The Future hanging over me. I come from a line of pretty long livers (that is, people who live a long time, not people with oversized livers… although there are certainly those hanging from the family tree, myself, I suspect, included). I really don’t want to work forever. I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t working, and I’m happy to keep at it for a while, but time’s a-tickin’, and there will come a day when I want to be able to meander through without any schedule, doing what I want, when I want to.
So you see my dilemma. It feels like I should be sensible and not commit to things like four years’ worth of NHL seasons tickets, but I do it anyway. Sometimes it works out (like with the tickets, I was not sad to learn of the sell-out), sometimes not (if Aimee quite piano anytime in the next 5 years, we have made a bigger investment in her musical education per year than we have in Jack’s hockey career). I should be frugal now, so I am in a position to be sufficiently entertained during my 30 or 40 years of retirement. But I want to go to Mexico! Now!
You can’t take it with you, so you might as well spend it now… but do I really want to be living with my children when I’m 80? Of course, fair’s fair… they are living with me now… and maybe they would take me to the occasional hockey game.