I was walking around one of the local malls in Winnipeg yesterday as many other people are starting to as we head into the Holiday Season. I love this time of year. I love the music, the decorations, the parties. What I love most of all is getting together with family and friends and really trying to just live in the moment and appreciate everyone I have in my life. The Holidays are always an interesting time financially and one of the things I don’t love about them is the pressure and guilt they put on people over what they are spending. There is always the pressure to spend more on gifts or on throwing parties. There are more people who want to get together with you and go out for dinner or drinks. Truthfully, these are all good problems to have, but is it ok to splurge?
This time of year is famous not only for Christmas commercials on tv but also financial articles about budgeting your money and tax planning. Let’s take this in a different direction and talk about spending your money. Let me start by sharing a few things that I splurge on:
Coffee – Truthfully, I can’t stand it when financial planners say “if you skipped Starbucks just once a week, you could afford a car”. I’m not a big fancy coffee drinker but I do enjoy a good Americano once or twice a week and the experience of going to Starbucks relaxes me.
Travel – As many of you know about me, I love to travel. In particular I enjoy going on trips which are a little off the beaten path and have a bit of adventure tied to them. This gives me better perspective on my own life and the world as a whole.
Clothes – This one comes with a caveat. I will often spend more on clothes but I also try to keep my closet somewhat minimalistic. I don’t own a lot of clothes and I don’t want to. But I do appreciate good quality and I have always been a fan of design whether that be in clothing, cars, planes or buildings.
Grocery Delivery – This one is an absolute relationship saver and totally worth the money for me. For approximately $10 on top of the grocery bill I have my groceries delivered to my house every Saturday morning at about 7 AM. The most valuable resource in the world is time. For $10 I get to spend an extra couple of hours a week with my wife Sam and I would make that trade off every day.
I think that you can likely see where I am going with this. Splurging is ok but it has to have purpose behind it. The best purpose of all is whether or not it gives you pleasure and makes you happy. If you enjoy grabbing a $5 latte every day and it gives you the mental break you need from a busy world then consider it cheap therapy. If having a nice car is something that makes you feel good and the goal of having one helped to drive your ambition to get one, then congratulations, but just make sure you are doing it for yourself and not what others will think of you when they see you driving it. One of my splurges which I missed above is giving back to the community, probably the best thing anyone can splurge on. I once heard Bob Silver speaking to the United Way of Winnipeg Cabinet and the message he gave was “Give and then give some more, give until it hurts.” That has stuck with me and has become a philosophy to live by. This might be unconventional financial advice, but I recommend that you splurge a little on yourself. Know what your priorities are both in the present and in the future and don’t sacrifice any of the things that are most important to you. Life has to be worth living.
-Grant White, CIM, CFP®
Grant White is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with Industrial Alliance Securities Inc, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.
This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (iA Securities) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Securities. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Portfolio Manager can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.