The other day, I read that retirees have less money but are spending more. My initial reaction, now that I have entered the semi-retirement phase of my life, was mild annoyance. Especially when the journalist started throwing numbers and statistical evidence to prove, without question, I was overspending. Interspersed in the percentages was the fear factor message that I might run out of money. And who was responsible? The consensus was clear: the fault lay with the retirees. It seems that our bad spending habits were formed long before we exchanged our careers for a new beginning to the rest of our lives. Recall that money is a finite resource and the sooner it’s spent, the sooner it’s gone. This is elementary mathematics.
The article started me thinking about my spending habits. Even though I don’t like being lumped in with the statistical masses, I recognize that I’m not unique. I would like to think I’m an individual with the power to make sound choices. But there are times when I look at my “stuff” and wonder what I was thinking when I bought those coffee mugs, knowing my cupboards were well stocked with previous purchases.
Fear does not motivate behaviour changes. I think that we need a fresh approach. It really isn’t about spending; it’s about creating a lifestyle that brings joy to our existence. It is personal choice; we can be unique. It is possible to change statistics – it happens all of the time.
For more discussion on the subject of spending, OnTheRoad is reviewing Ellen Ruppel Shell’s Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture.
Shopping in Rome, Italy
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