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The Good Wine: A Personal Finance Parable

I used to travel a great deal for my previous job, and on several occasions, I was lucky enough to travel to France. During one of these trips, we had enough spare time that one of our hosts brought us to a local wine shop, and there we acted like silly Canadians and asked which wines we should buy that we most likely couldn’t get in Canada. The shopkeeper was very friendly and accommodating, and he helped us all pick up a few bottles of excellent French wine.

This trip took place about a long time ago (if my recollection is correct), and when I returned, my wife was pleased to see that I had picked up this wine, and we both decided that we should save this wine for a special occasion, and we put the wine away in our wine cupboard (no we don’t have a wine cellar or anything as fancy as that).

The Good Wine

This is a picture of the bottle of wine for those wine enthusiasts who think this is another story I have spun out of whole cloth.

This wine sat in our wine cabinet for years. Many special occasions passed in our lives: The first new year, then another, then the Millennium, the birth of our son, my finding a new job, and countless birthdays and anniversaries, yet we either forgot about the wine or figured it was not the right time to uncork this particular wine.

On Saturday this past week, my wife desperately needed some wine for cooking, and we finally decided it was time to try this wine (after all, it was over 12 years since we had purchased it). I argued for a minute about wasting this wine for cooking but decided we could drink the rest that evening, so I finally relented.

When my wife opened the bottle, it smelled very off, so she called me into the kitchen to smell it. It smelled very vinegary (if that is a word), so we decided to pour it on the steak we were marinating, and the colour of the wine alone suggested it was very OFF.

So I had tried to get my wife a lovely gift, in a hard-to-find French Wine. We had saved it away for a special occasion, but because we never followed through, the wine was horrible when we finally did open it.

Financial Angle?

Is there a financial angle to this story, or is this just me telling another long-winded story?

Are you saving for a special occasion or your retirement? Sometimes it is essential to remember why you are saving and complete your savings plan by getting what you were saving for, or you may feel cheated (which I did with that wine).

Make sure you can enjoy that retirement or special occasion, or your savings may go “off” and you will not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

There are countless stories of people who worked very hard during their working years, didn’t take care of themselves, and ended up dying before they retired, or were in such a bad state health-wise that they couldn’t enjoy their retirement.

What are you saving for? Remember your plan, and make sure you don’t cheat yourself.

Oh, and if anyone can tell me if this was a good bottle of wine, or whether I was sold a tourist special, please feel free to comment.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more with you on this one. A few of my parents’ very affluent friends worked their entire lives. They were always chasing this X amount of money that they totally neglected all the other things in life like family and friends. Fortunately, a few of them have come out of that sleep and are now actively giving back to charities and organizations. Unfortunately, not all of them made it to their retirement age. However, we can rest assured that their children will inherit a pretty sizable amount of money.

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