I have a relative who wanted a sports car since he was young. He finally bought it in middle age. “I don’t want to have this car now,” he complains. “I want to have had it when I was 20!”
I notice this frustration. Long-term goods like houses would ideally be bought early on so you can enjoy them as long as possible. But young people don’t have the money to buy a house they want to live in for a long time. One traditional solution is for older people to give durable goods to young people. But the incentives aren’t the same as for something you buy yourself: young people are notoriously bad at caring for, say, cars that daddy bought.
I’m realizing that I ought to change my spending patterns based on this. I currently buy a mix of short-term pleasures (food, flowers, clothes that I probably won’t like forever) and long-term ones (furniture, a sewing machine, books). I would do better to prioritize long-term goods now so I’ll have them for longer, and later buy more short-term goods. I’ll enjoy chocolate the same whether I have it now or in 40 years, but a banjo gets more use the longer I have it.