They would save and save and dream about it for a long time and when they finally had the money, they went and bought it. I'm 37 and when I was a kid, it was the same way. But somewhere along the way, patience and anticipation disappeared. I can't think of a time in my adult life that someone has told me they are saving for something. Not once! And I'm very guilty of this. When I started out, everything that was needed and wanted was put on a credit card. I'm so glad that I've found my way out of that trap. Maybe that's why so many people are so unhappy. Its the little goals that keep us content and motivated. Small steps instead of huge leaps are the ones that make me happy. I feel like I've accomplished something when I "fund" one of my funds. A few hundred dollars saved for flowers or a trip and I can honestly say I feel as if I've overcome a big hurdle. If I had done it the other way around and not planned or saved and just put it on the credit card, it would feel like a failure. Maybe that's where happiness comes from being prepared for your future. The Japanese have a word that the Americans don't and when I heard it, it reverberated threw me and it has never left me. The word is futurist. They live, work and strive for tomorrow. When I start thinking about everything from that point of view, I have clarity.
I'm glad that I have the patience to save. It's made my life better to plan and dream about my future. Maybe with the hard times and the credit crunch, we will all go back to saving up for our furniture instead of feeling like a failure and worrying about our debt load when we charge something that we don't have the money for. I don't expect anyone to bail me out, I just hope that I have presence of mind now to help me tomorrow.