I learned a lot from my first father-in-law. He was frugal and planned well. He was able to retire at age 55 and have a long second career in a field he had great passion for. He taught his whole family to be conscientious about money and I appreciated learning how to be that way as well.

It did bring up some issues however.  When my first wife and I went on our first vacation we had to have a discussion about money. This is what it came down to:  she was worried about spending too much, and I was worried her concern would override our willingness to have fun and enjoy the vacation.    Now, I wasn’t going to go out and buy something expensive and crazy, but I did want us to enjoy ourselves and to do that we would be spending some money. 

I came to realize something on that vacation.  You know the cliche statement ‘I want to get away from it all’ that accompanies planning a vacation? Well, what exactly is ALL? It might include your job, obligations, stress, location, routine, family, weather, etc.  You know what else it might include? A desire to escape worrying about money. That is what I wanted a vacation from.

There is a time to worry about your money and be frugal. There is a time to enjoy it, share it, spend it.  My first wife understood what I was talking about and agreed to loosen up the wallet a bit. I, in turn, promised not to spend $10,000 dollars on a painting of Elvis on black velvet.

Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Richard Burton, 1925-1984, Welsh actor

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