On Friday, when my mom wrote about living on less, someone commented, "My husband and I have a hard time understanding the benefit of suffering now to be wealthy when we are 80. What is the use? I need valid reasons."
I think this is a terrific question; after all, it is pretty difficult to be frugal for the sake of being frugal. There has to be a reason to make the effort and some potential payoff that makes the present lifestyle worth it.
I'm all with her; I don't want to wait until I'm 80 to be wealthy, either! I hope that within 15 years Bart and I can own a home outright, have all our vehicles paid for, have a fully-funded emergency fund, a very full 401(k), and plenty of savings.
And, just as importantly, I don't want to suffer now. Like many of you (dare I say most of you), suffering doesn't really appeal to me. Therefore, I want my frugal lifestyle to not come at the cost of any happiness in the present. I don't want to take no vacations for the next twenty years. I don't want to wear only clothing from Goodwill. I don't want to never go out to dinner. I don't want to live in a tent in my parents' backyard (and I'm fairly sure they don't want me there either).
So then, what is the use? I'll give several reasons, over the course of several posts, why I live frugally, why I think some sacrifice now is going to be worth it later, and how frugality doesn't have to equal suffering.