Save or splurge?

by Kevin Janiec, CFP® MBA

Will your future self wish you had saved more or splurged more?

We’ve met with many retired couples that avoided splurging and stuck to a tight budget when they were younger. These couples invested a meaningful percentage of their income, and the compounded returns through the years gave them enough money to spend more than they could fathom in retirement.  But now that they’re older, they lack the desire and health to pursue the experiences and opportunities that they might have enjoyed in their younger years.

Contrarily, we’ve also met with plenty of couples that splurged through their younger years, and now their older selves are financially hand-cuffed to their jobs and budgets because they don’t have the savings to continue living the way they’ve become accustomed to. 

Which of these personas likely represents your future self?

Of course, there are strategies to help the retired “savers” to splurge more, and the retired spenders to tighten the belt. But wouldn’t it be way more impactful if we were able to get the balance right earlier? 

There is no certainty for what the future will hold for our health, wealth, and circumstances.  However, we do have plenty of control over the way that we balance living today and taking appropriate steps to prepare for that uncertain tomorrow. 

I see it as our responsibility to advocate for both your present self and your future self, and implement a plan that serves both of you.  And if we’re successful, you could answer this big question in 20 or 30 years with a confident, “Neither.”




Ben Carlson, writer for A Wealth of Common Sense, wrote a similar article highlighting two conflicting personal finance philosophies and the importance of striking a balance.


On a related Untucked podcast episode, our team debated the topic, “How much do you need to feel financially secure?” Check it out.  

Investment Advice offered through FC Advisory LLC, a registered investment adviser doing business as “New Wealth Project” and as “Financial Coach”.  This content is provided for informational purposes only.  Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FC Advisory, LLC.  Information provided is not and should not be interpreted as investment, tax, legal, or other professional advice or recommendation by FC Advisory, LLC or the members of our firm.  Always consult the appropriate professional regarding your specific situation before implementing any options presented or inferred.  FC Advisory LLC, All rights reserved.