There is a healthier way to look at sacrifice, yet even that, it seems to me, misses the real point. Always it's a matter of balance.
When people diet, they tend to think of themselves as good or bad, depending on how well they are doing. When we carefully control our money, telling ourselves that if we pass by the latte we will have more for retirement later (or for emergencies, or education, or whatever), this is good reasoning. What, though, about the day to day of it? What about the experience of sitting in the coffee place, reading, watching people?
I don't like to deprive myself of such pleasures right now. Perhaps I am not "disciplined" enough? No, I don't see it that way. Taking in my surroundings, listening in on others, these things feed me as much as any food does. I can find other ways to meet this need that don't cost as much as a latte, of course. Straight coffee with some milk in it. Tea. I could even find parks where people congregate, or little passage ways, outdoor areas, and not spend any money. Even bring my own drink.
This last would meet my goal of not spending any money on such frivolous things. In some cases it would trigger a sense of obligation, however. If I sit outside Starbucks, using their chairs, sitting on private property that is paid for by these businesses, I feel I should be buying something, even a small something. I know they will not go broke if I do not, but it does seem the right thing to do.
I think we owe it to ourselves to bring pleasure into our lives every day, not simply plan for some day in the future. Yeah, stop and smell the roses, that's it...oh shit, if this goes on I'll soon be posting little warm thoughts, inspirational, and forwarding them to friends, and creating little slide shows with pictures of waterfalls and sunsets, appended to words of wisdom.
It seems so ridiculous when I post these obvious things, yet I do it anyway.