I thought I would watch the new program on money management. Its about time TV started looking at finances and saving rather than having loads of daytime TV that is full of spending – property make-overs, holidays, inspirational living etc….
I took the test on their website to test your money personality – surprise, surprise I come out as a secure saver which contains the following comment :
Independence Seeker : Money means freedom….they use it to escape the daily grind – through weekends away, expensive hobbies or even breaking free from paid employment. Seekers must not forget about future events such as retirement and unforeseen life events.
The couples they featured are using ‘retail spending’ as their hobby and to provide ‘happiness’. They are bitten by the consumer bug and can’t see that they are impulse buying, they have houses full of stuff they don’t really need or use. They are collecting things just to ‘feel’ good about themselves – the emotional crutch. What is shocking is that some are actually starting the month on the verge of an overdraft as soon as their salary is paid in – ouch!
It is difficult for some to stop the impulse when they are bombarded with all the consumer marketing to ‘spend, spend, spend’ and ‘live now’ mantras. I know people who work all week then spend the whole weekend out shopping spending money on things they don’t really need, they do it just to have something to do with their free time.
I know its a struggle, the status anxiety/jealousy kicks in.
An example from my own life:
My friend has currently moved house (bigger & better) and is spending money on doing it up; new kitchen, all the rooms redecorated, new wood-burner stove (something I would like – and have mentioned to her in the past – but for frugal reasons..lol), new furniture and is now getting the garden re-landscaped. She just loves showing me around and telling me about all the changes being made. Oh…and just bought a new car (just happens to be the same make/model as mine but younger)! Its like they have won the lottery. Some of this money has come from her husband recently retiring and getting a large lump sum payment and some an inheritance she received last year. The rest will be from a brilliant annual bonus (she hasn’t said but I bet they got a great bonus this year given company results) and company share saves.
She has a well paid job – working at one of my ex-employers – which is where I first met her. I use to have a well-paid job there too so know the benefits. I could feel jealous of all this (I think I am – my green-eyed monster is active) : she has a job she enjoys, a lovely husband, a new house, new car and just come back from a great holiday abroad.
She does have her own status issues, I am not sure how long I will remain her friend as I am a frugal FI seeker who isn’t spending money on theatre/house/clothes/holidays and currently not working. She may dump me soon as I just don’t have the aspiration status that she wants to surround herself with. I was talking to her about getting a dog and spending some time out during my ‘work-free’ period, it would do my health good and relax me….well, what has she done? She has bought a dog – a puppy that her husband is now going to be looking after.
I shouldn’t view this as a kick at me but it does feel like one. She is the only friend I have left and now I feel that she isn’t the sort of person I should have around me.
With these kinds of environments. it does make it hard to escape the social pressures. I know that for me, my FI decisions are actually restricting my social circles and I will lose out in the short term – but hopefully I can gain some new true friends who are more suited to my new way of life – once I work out what that new life looks like.