Since childhood I have always had a taste for the finer things in life. I remember being about 11 years old when my parents would take us out for dinner at a favorite Italian restaurant, I would order the prawn scampi. Fresh lobster is another all time favorite. I will never forget my mother telling me, on many more than one occasion, that I have Champagne tastes on a beer budget.
Believe me, I still yearn for the taste of those finer things. But my budget is more suited for sparkling water now, and I do not mean Perrier either. After stretching our one-year roadtrip budget to last nearly three years, and making frequent reality checks on the savings we are still spending, I have become quite good at letting those tastes linger on my palate praetendere.
In years past we have enjoyed Moët & Chandon on New Year’s eve, though Cristal was my favorite. But in past years, we used to actually make money too! This year, it was Trader Joe’s finest. And that’s OK. Long ago, I came to terms with getting what you pay for, and paying for what you get. Yes, those finer things in life taste good, but they never last long enough. There was even a time when spending over $100 on a bottle of bubbly made me feel good, but that was when we could afford such things. Now I know what matters most is the memories.
These are the things we toasted to ring in the new year with our good friends Martha and Ralph and the Oaktown pack. And these things are what we wish upon all our friends and family. Keeping in mind, that is, to prosper need not necessarily require being wealthy.
I for one, will take my debt-free lifestyle with a sip of California sparkling wine over an upside down mortgage and French Champagne any day. Cheers!