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Happy Birthday Louis!

August 4th, 2008 at 02:23 pm

NPR mentioned that today is the anniversary of the late Louis Armstrong's birth, so in his honor I am playing some of his CDs today.

I love jazz. I'm far from being an expert, but I do love the way it makes me feel. I tend to favor the classics ... Miles, Monk, Coltrane, etc.

To the extreme fan or the obsessive collector, my collection of CDs might seem like small potatoes, but I think it is great. I don't know if I've yet to spend $1,000 on CDs, but I'll bet it's close to that. I've been buying jazz CDs for almost 20 years. The pace of my acquisitions has slowed down considerably (the more I've collected, the less I "need"). The last CD I got was "Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall" which is not only a fabulous record but also of historical significance ... it was rediscovered in some files at the Library of Congress and released in 2005. Guess what the only thing I wanted for Christmas in 2005 was?

I buy my CDs new. I look for discounts, but I don't wait for them to hit the clearance bin.

I love to read books, but I get 99% of my books at the library. I like to watch movies, but I own only 7 (3 are the LOTR movies); I rent from Netflix, at the lowest subscription level. I like moderate exercise, and I get that from walking my dog (or once in a blue moon popping in a yoga DVD). I don't indulge all of my hobbies and interests in a way that costs a lot of money. But I have spent a fair amount on jazz CDs, and if another history-making release comes out or I discover a new artist I love, I will continue to buy ... with no apologies.

I can afford them, and they are well worth the cost for the amount of joy they bring me.

Especially for the younger folks (many of whom have joined the boards recently) I would like to stress that a frugal life does NOT equal a joyless life. The key is figuring out what it is that really brings you joy, and spending your money accordingly ... once you have determined that you can afford it, of course. Smile

For each person, the joy will come from different sources. For Ima Saver, it's dinner out many nights with her husband and Corvettes. For disneysteve, it's the annual pilgrimage to Disney World with his family. For Broken Arrow (err...BA Lite) it's a karaoke box and a guitar. For one person it may be designer clothes. For another it may be gourmet foods or higher-end wines. Someone else may love to go to live concerts or plays. And so on and so on ...

What does NOT work in the long term (unless maybe you are in the super-high-income category) is saying to yourself: "Well, they go to Disney every year and drive a Corvette and wear designer clothes and have instruments and lots of CDs and eat gourmet food and drink expensive wine and go to the theater... so I want ALL of that too!" That's just about being driven by jealousy or competitiveness (aka "keeping up with the Jonses"). It will make you broke and it might not even bring you any joy.

I hope everyone reading this will be filled with joy AND have a secure financial future! I'm off to listen to some more Louis. Peace.



7 Responses to “Happy Birthday Louis!”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I enjoy Louis's music too. Smile He was a truly great musician.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Great post. And I love Louis as well. I don't listen to music much, but I used to have a great CD of him and Ella dueting--their voices made such an amazing contrast, it was just beautiful.

  3. HouseHopeful Says:

    I really like Louis Armstrong too! Especially around the holidays Smile

  4. Ima saver Says:

    Great post!

  5. Aleta Says:

    I love Louis as well. The song that my son chose for our dance at his wedding was Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World". I can't tell you how much that song means to me now.

    As you said, everyone has something that is important to them and as long as everything else in their financial life is in order - they'll be OK.

    I watched my step-father save and (poor thing) was never able to enjoy anything of what he saved for. He died at 66. So, life is for living and enjoying too.

  6. lartiga Says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post; you are very insightful. People should definitely enjoy life and the things that bring them joy as long as they are not hurting themselves or anyone else by doing so. For me, the key is to have my financial house in order, and since I have worked hard, planned and saved wisely my entire adult life, I can now enjoy the fruit of my labor without guilt. I love to travel, go to concerts, dine out 1-2 times a week, etc., and am happy that we can do it. But I am still frugal, seek ways to save as much as I can, and try to do my part to conserve resources. This is ingrained into who I am as a person.

    I knew someone like Aleta's SF who scrimped and saved all her life, only to die unexpectedly at 68 about a year ago. Her estate of $1,000,000+ went to her nieces who are having fun squandering it (trips to Vegas, new BMW and Mercedes, one quit her job, etc.). The nieces rarely visited her when she was alive but they were her next of kin. It's very sad... she lived so frugally and never got a chance to enjoy doing the things she talked about, like going to Italy or taking a cruise. "One of these days I'm going to ..."

    PS - You have great taste in music! I love Louis Armstrong, too.

  7. midlight21 Says:

    Nicely said. I love to travel - and we can't afford to do a lot of it, but we do a little every year!

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