As my brother and I got older, we both gained a good understanding of how important money really is in our society. We both made sure that we worked our way up into solid-paying jobs and we continue to pull in more income where possible. He went after and gained his real estate license on top of his regular career to help bring in additional money. I went the landlord route to chase after long-term cash flow.
However, we like to laugh at how the money similarities stop there for the most part. I’ve always been very careful with my money – I watch where every penny goes, cut back every chance I can, and save as much as possible. It’s just always been my nature to follow that path. Don’t get me wrong, we still take great vacations and cruises (probably more than most people I know), but we’re still very frugal and don’t spend money frivolously for “extras” if we don’t really need them.
Then there’s my brother. 🙂 He and his wife tend to go the other direction in this facet of life. They love the champagne lifestyle. They like nice cars, hired help, and when they vacation, they like to enjoy the extras when possible. Hey, you only live once!! They are currently building a new house with a pool and seriously considered adding a lazy river as part of the build! They do make more money than us, but they’re definitely not saving more than we do… they do push a lot toward their 401(k)s each year, but that’s about the extent of it.
He likes to call me cheap and I tell him he overspends… but, we’re brothers so we’re supposed to bust each other’s chops like that!
The big difference though between our two families is that my wife and I have a daughter while my brother and his wife don’t have any kids. So when I tell him he needs to save, his argument is why? They both enjoy working and don’t plan on retiring anytime soon, and they don’t have any kids they need to worry about leaving anything to when they die. So, why not enjoy it now instead of letting it go to waste? Hmmm, good point.
My wife and I have a different agenda. As you know from the whole direction of this blog, my plan is to retire early… in less than ten years in fact! I’m not planning on retiring rich, but I do want to be financially free enough to keep us in the upper-modest lifestyle we live in now. I also want to ensure that my daughter is not stuck taking care of us. I don’t plan on putting her on easy street – I expect her to make a living for herself (preferably learning about passive income much younger than I did!) – but I do want to be able to leave her a decent bit of a nest egg once we pass on.
Two different ways of living life, but it still makes you think… is one way better than the other? There are some days when I would love to just jump on board that champagne lifestyle. And I’m sure there are days when my brother wishes he had put away some F-U money in case he ever needs it or if an emergency comes up.
What do you think? Is one way of living better than the other? Which of these tracks are you on… or are you even more frugal than I am or an even bigger money spender than my brother?
Thanks for reading!!