One of the biggest conflicts in Personal Finance is the tension between “living in the present” and “planning for the future.” The former makes me think of this song:
And the latter makes me think of this one:
The problem I often see is that some folks see this as a binary choice, either they have to “have pleasure while [they] can,” or they “[can’t] stop thinking about tomorrow.” For some people, they are so fixated on “living in the moment” that they end up making decisions that will negatively affect their future (often not realizing how even small changes can have large impacts over time). Others are so worried about the future that they forget that we only actually get to experience the present.
From my perspective, it’s way more gray than black and white. Personal finance, after all, is “personal,” and everyone has to figure out where the balance is between living for today and thinking about tomorrow. I think (of course) that education is a big part of this, especially for younger folks to begin thinking about this. I think it’s really important for all of us to try to figure out how to live for today while also planning for the future we want to have. To find the right harmony of those two in a way that aligns with our values and goals so that we can live the “good life” now and in our future.