“Beans Now, Steak Later”, after hearing this for the first time, I was initially puzzled. What did this mean? Oh great… now I’m hungry, and I really want a steak.
The basic principle behind the saying is that, if you live simply now, later on in life you will be able to enjoy life’s pleasures without worry – in this case, a steak. As much as this sounds like an exaggeration, this actually comes from a true story. In Kevin O’Leary’s book Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women & Money, he writes about a time he met an elderly man from Minneapolis. He explains, that he ate beans for over 5 years, and after he paid off his mortgage, he bought himself a steak.
I found myself partially troubled by this idea. When I was younger I was told to save, and that later on in life I would be able to enjoy my savings, travel, and do whatever I pleased. However, when I became old enough to start making my own opinions about life, I started to fear living for tomorrow, and began to live with the mantra “live each day to the fullest”.
Now, at 26 years old, I wish I would have found a balance between both those ideas. Because yes, life is about balance. Living within your means, but enjoying every day to its fullest. The thing I didn’t understand as a teenager, and still struggle with today, is that, living every day to its fullest, doesn’t mean always having to spend money. I, along with many other people, need to learn to embrace and treasure the simple things in life, every single day – and that, is living each day to its fullest.
Beyond my internal debate on the matter, I still believe there is something real, something honest in “Beans Now, Steak Later”. Personally, what I would like to take from it is that, today, you might struggle, you might be doing certain things you’d rather not be doing, but one day, everything you have accomplished, and all the hard work you put in, all of it was moving you towards your ultimate goal, whatever that may be.
Now, go seize the day!