HomeFinanceHow to conquer the fear of spending

How to conquer the fear of spending

Many Australians work and save hard for their retirement nest egg, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy spending it.

The 2023 Intergenerational Report released in August last year found a quarter of retirees will die with their superannuation intact.

When releasing the report, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said retirees were living too frugally because they feared they would run out of super before they died.

So if you have a decent retirement nest egg, but have been too hesitant to spend it, what are some tactics to help you begin to enjoy your money?

Get some advice

Financial planning doesn’t come cheap, but if you are feeling unsure of your finances then some professional reassurances about what you can spend is a saving in the long run.

A good personal financial adviser may also be able to recommend switching some of your assets around to provide more income or ways to minimise tax.

Set goals

Too much of feeling unsure about your finances is not having goals in mind.

What do you want your money to do? Do you want it to make your life more comfortable, or do you want it to make life more enjoyable? The difference could be a renovation of your home, or taking your first skydive.

Buy experiences

You probably don’t need any more stuff. Why not spend it on making memories? It doesn’t have to be a skydive, it could be a winery tour or spoiling the grandkids with a trip to an amusement park.  

Buying goods only gives you a short-term buzz, but spending money on an experience provides the thrill of anticipation, the enjoyment of the moment and then all the wonderful memories to dwell on after.

Don’t rush in

If you want to enjoy spending, start small. Want to pick up a new hobby? Take a class at your local U3A. Thinking about travelling more? Take a few overnighters to destinations you have always wanted to visit and build up from there.

Taking things slowly can raise your anticipation as well as weed out the things you don’t enjoy spending money on.

Back to the future

What did you enjoy doing before you had the responsibilities of a family and work? Was it cars? A craft or sport? Why not go back to that?

Buy a vintage car and restore it. Join a group specialising in your hobby, or join a sports club.

You may no longer be able to compete in surf lifesaving, but you could be an official at an event.

And many sports have veterans and ‘masters’ divisions, or even ‘walking’ sports such as walking hockey or walking soccer. I still play hockey, and at age 55 I am one of the youngest on my veteran’s team.

Some sports such as fishing have dedicated tours and you can always take a trip away to see your favourite sports team.

Spoil friends and family

If you enjoy bringing happiness to those around you, why not treat them to a special event such as a meal at a good restaurant or tickets to the theatre?

Or it could be as simple as handing out some extra spending money for family members off on a holiday or buying an unexpected gift for a friend.

Buy time

Well, you can’t buy time, otherwise none of us would die, but you can buy free time.

Pay other people to do the tasks you don’t want to do such as cleaning or house maintenance.

This could remove an unpleasant task from your to-do list and give you the opportunity to do something you want to do.

Do you enjoy spending or do you get a kick out of being frugal? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: How to use your home equity to invest in real estate

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


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