I live in an area with a very high cost of living. More specifically, I live in an area where I spend my commute sitting in traffic with BMW 7-series and Mercedes CLK’s.
I maintain a $50,000 property liability insurance (far above the state-mandated minimum) because one dent on one of those babies will probably set me back thousands, nevermind a serious collision.
I can live near the beach. On a tree-lined street. I can have crown molding and airy ceilings. I am surrounded by so, so many restaurants that I don’t really eat at, because one nice meal would halve my eating out budget.
So, yes, sometimes, I wish I can live it up a little more. I don’t feel as if I’m missing out by not paying $20 cover to get into clubs, because that’s not my scene. But I do miss trying out new restaurants or going to an amusement park on a spur of the moment. It would be really nice to take a trip down to New Zealand or the Mediteranean. I know I make a decent salary. I’m saving. I don’t HAVE to save 40% of my take-home income every month.
But in doing so, I feel that I am making a wise choice, and that in itself gives me satisfication – which, by the virtue of the choices I made, means that I necessarily derive more utility (i.e. happiness) from saving/investing than from buying shoes or cars or going on vacations. Econ 101 can finally explain life!
I’m also lucky in that one of the things I most enjoy, reading, doesn’t cost much. Thank goodness for libraries and used book sales. Besides, I’m a recent grad. It will do me good to retain my broke-college-student mentality for a bit longer. 😉