Giving yourself permission to spend

You work hard your entire life.

The time has come where you are financially independent.

Everyone loves a good deal…whether it be a sale, coupon, or markdown…

But aren’t there specific times where it is ok to pay regular price or even…dare i say it…overpay…for the experiences…

A business or first class airplane ticket aboard an international flight?

A nice meal at a Steakhouse?

Joining the overpriced optional tours at a Tourist destination?

My parents are frugal. They appear to live happy lives. But sometimes I feel they are depriving themselves experiences by not opening up their wallets on things they think are not worth it.

Am I in the wrong for thinking they aren’t maxing out on their life experiences in their desire to continue to delay gratification.

At a certain point, doesn’t that day arrive in which you don’t need to delay anymore and live for the moment?


resonate with the Fortune article -

also comes as a Podcast -



Exactly what I was looking for…

I just started the video, but I see the same characteristics as my parents…:slight_smile:

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It’s a mental war between delayed gratification and delayed insolvency. The fear of insolvency is more powerful than the pleasure of gratification at least for people who had to earn a living.

Contrary to my father’s advice I had my “life experiences” early in life and I don’t miss them in old age.

The Captain


Many of my boomer friends are wealthy savers who can’t stop saving or struggling spenders who can’t stop spending. Habit energy is hard to change.


Reading the transcript. Outstanding episode. I see people like this nearly every day. Super-rec for sharing this.

My parents are frugal. They appear to live happy lives. But sometimes I feel they are depriving themselves experiences by not opening up their wallets on things they think are not worth it.

Am I in the wrong for thinking they aren’t maxing out on their life experiences in their desire to continue to delay gratification

Projecting? Who says they are not already max’d out? What is the physically definable and universally applicable measurement for “max’ed out experiences”? Whose experiences do you think they should have? Theirs? Or yours? You said they’re happy. I’d say they’re maxed out. As someone else said above they’ had all their groovy experiences while they were young. So have I. I don’t want to be bothered, yes, bothered, with seeking “new and exciting” (all subjective and relative, btw) experiences. Maybe I’m not max’d out (Whatever that is?) but who says I have to be? And how will I, and how will other people since they seem to have a “say” in this, know?


I am.

I think I am more than qualified to make an assessment of my parents of knowing them for the last 44 years and counting…

Listen, I don’t want them to blow their retirement accounts in a week long Las Vegas Gambling binge.

Clues that they are not maxing out:

But I do want them to order a food item that they really are craving rather than looking for the cheapest item on the menu…

Or not skipping up going up the Eiffel Tower because of the entrance fee…

I can go on and on about them not “maxing” out on life experiences.

Am I not qualified to speak on their “scarcity” mindset if I see it firsthand?


Not only that but you might be qualified to invite then to lunch and to pick up the tab. LOL

The Captain


Unfortunately, I can’t. I need to use that money to invest in my Roth IRA…LOL

They successfully passed their frugality to me.

(in jest)

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I just added his show to my Netflix watch list. That was a great podcast.

It does but for a certain generation, it’s hard to break the frugality habit. My mom was born in 1936, she remembers the aftermath of the Depression and not being able to splurge on anything. Now she’s in a position to do it and, for a while, it was like pulling teeth to get her to spend.

About a decade ago, she was flying to the west coast to see her sister and asked about going first class (she had splurged on some international flights in the past but had been too frugal to do it domestically). Of course, she could afford it but her mindset wasn’t there. So we made a deal…any flight over 3.5 hours, she would go first class, anything less she would go coach. After a few years, she asked if she could lower the time limit…now it’s rare that she doesn’t fly first (and it’s only when she knows the legroom in the first row of coach is better and it’s a short flight - regional jets, mainly).

She jokingly calls me her financial advisor (she’s done just fine on her own but does like to bounce ideas off my brother and me when she’s working on her investments). I gave her a motto about 5 years ago )after helping her with her taxes and seeing that her social security and pension more than covered her expenses): “Spend Spend Spend”. Every time she would ask about a purchase, I would answer with the motto. It took a while but it worked. The only time I’ve ever hesitated is when she thinks about a new car and even that, I’ve moved to ‘buy what you want.’

Try easing them into spending more, a few good experiences and they’ll probably find that it’s ok to spend, spend, spend :slight_smile:


The problem is that they are content. They are content with only buying things on sale…They know that when they need to upgrade the washer/dryer, they can wait until
Black Friday every year to get steep discounts…They are ok driving an extra 10 miles to fill up their gas tanks at Costco for 0.40 cents cheaper a gallon…They are ok with Inside Cabins on a Cruise Ship…attending time share presentations only for the free gifts…

I can go on and on about examples…

For you, how do you differentiate being frugal vs being cheap?

and is that really an issue?

That really isn’t a problem.


rant I can’t stand these Forbes/Fortune/Kiplinger’s articles that put a clickbait strawman out there with “retired with $N million and bored/wearing thin” or “28 year old makes $500K a year on passive income and works 10 hours a week”.

I mean, cmon. It’s a paid advertisement for Ramit Sethi, it’s clickbait designed to get a reaction (admittedly like mine) and read about how deeply difficult it is for these poor, moneydriven souls to get past spending $20 on a lunch… It normalizes through highlighting, a .1% financial outcome driven by beyond extraordinary circumstances. Don’t you feel sorry for these people? Bad/lazy editing, just trash. /rant

If they are content, why should they do more than they want to? If it’s going to stress them out more to buy appliances that aren’t on sale, buy gas at the corner Shell for $0.40/gallon more, spend the extra to upgrade to a balcony cabin or miss out on the free gifts, why do you want them to add that stress to their life?

If some of the choices they are making are impacting their health, then having a discussion with them would be appropriate. Other than that, you need to make your peace with them making their own choices so it doesn’t add stress to your life.



It’s a huge problem, it kills the Economy reared on growth, on debt, on instant gratification, on keeping up with the Johnses, on getting fat to have spend more on healthcare!

Who was it that said, “It’s the economy stupid!” Who is the Stupid?

The Captain

Watch this podcast. I think it does an outstanding job of differentiating.

Most of us did not save and sacrifice to simply be content. And, what many call content is really just “settling” for a lifestyle they have become accustom to (saving and penny pinching). I see this behavior all the time. The most difficult aspect of my role is getting my clients to actually spend the money they have saved.

If you have spent all your life being a saver, it is very difficult to switch and become a spender.


What podcast would that be?