How to use my savings without feeling guilty?

If you are one of those fastidious savers who find it hard to use your savings when you need, read on to find out how to do it without feeling guilty.

In his book titled, “Die with Zero”, author Bill Perkins introduces the concept of how you can spend money on experiences that will pay you valuable memorable dividends.

When everyone else is talking about delayed gratification and financial advisors advising clients to look at how they should be saving more and not spending it mindlessly, this book brings in a totally different perspective where the author talks about using your savings to experience a fuller life and dying with zero or very little left.

This is such a scary proposition for most of us and we are definitely wary of this as most of us are working towards a single goal of being able to save enough money so that we can last with what we have and also leave some for our kids or dependents after we die.

Do you also hesitate to spend money or feel guilty?

Do you find yourself believing that using your money to buy what you want is sinful?

Do you catch yourself from buying something you think you need by delaying gratification only based on the amount it will cost you now?

For example, I am an avid reader who has started reading a lot online these days. I wish to buy a kindle for reading but often put the purchase away convincing myself that I can always use other devices such as a smartphone, laptop, etc for reading. We all have our moments where we feel foolish when we deny ourselves these experiences.

Do you consider yourself great at self-discipline if you are able to guard your money, protect it, hoard it even, keep it safe etc?

Do you live in denial of your simple needs?

The primary reason for not using money is fear that we will outlive it and accessing our savings is considered a big no-no for most of us.

Here are some examples I have come across:

  • For elders, it is not able to figure out the threshold that will make them sleep well at night.

For example - even if they have about INR 1 cr in savings and investments and a medical insurance policy, they want to keep the principal intact and only withdraw the interest which is meagre these days and not sufficient to fulfil their day-to-day needs

  • For others, the fear of salary cuts, not finding a well-paying job and so on.

They deny themselves of their hobbies or wants so that they can save more for future

I’m not saying that you should not be worried about your expenses.

Taking charge of your finances means your ability to say yes to things that matter to you and no to things that don't matter as much.

Looking at your spending as a healthy exercise to learn about your money mindset and taking the necessary action will be immensely helpful.

Here are some ways to make use of your savings that you have accumulated over a period of time:

  1. Take a loan on your fixed deposit when you need to fund for a lumpsum expense.This loan is not as expensive as a personal loan as the bank has your money as collateral
  2. Create a budget for expenses that are unusual but necessary for improving your life. For example, plan for personal growth or vacation when you are doing your annual budget planning
  3. An unusual windfall in the form of bonus, dividend income, gifts from family and friends or a tax refund calls for some indulgence. It could be an activity or a celebration that will make it memorable and interesting for you
  4. Bring in some flexibility to your spending so that you stop feeling guilty. *for example, set up automatic withdrawal in an account you use just for fun or indulgences.

What are some of the strategies you would like to adopt for utilizing your saving to lead a meaningful life?

What to expect when you are saving money?