Did You Splurge?

So the economy is pretty bad and families are struggling to make ends meet, but many people still splurged.

Last week, HSBC Direct released a consumer survey of 1,000 U.S. households on their spending in June. The results show that, despite the financial hardship caused by the economy, more than 40% of the respondents admitted that they splurged last month. Not only people treated themselves, but actually felt good about it at the time when they should be saving more, not less. According to the survey,

  • 47% splurge because it “just feels good?
  • 28% because “I deserve it?
  • 19% because “relieves stress?
  • Only 5% splurge under the justification that they “can just pay for it later?

From the results, it’s quite obvious that emotion, not discipline, played a big role in people’s spending decisions.

For me, I consider myself quite disciplined in saving for the future, which is done through an automatic saving and investing system that I have been using for years. With that system, saving always comes before spending. However, from time to time, I did spend money on things I wanted (most of them are a little gadgets). And when I made the “I want it” purchases, I always told myself that since I already saved the money I need to save (in savings, investment, and retirement accounts), I am allowed to spend a little extra and I don’t have to feel guilty about spending the money. The only problem is not all stuff I bought were fully utilized and money are wasted here and there even though none of them cost much individually.

Did this happen to you as well? Did you splurge?

Another interesting finding of the HSBC survey is that nearly 20% of the respondent said that “saving regularly requires more discipline than quitting smoking, losing fifteen pounds, or working out four times a week.”

Saving regularly requires discipline. So does spending!

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