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Splurge fever - the silent financial killer

Posted by Sean O'Kane on 7 February 2017
Splurge fever - the silent financial killer

So you've finally finished your medical specialty. The long nights of study are over (for now!) and you've got a shiny collection of new letters after your name. And of course, along with those letters goes a bigger pay packet. Time to reward yourself for all that hard work and start living a life of luxury, right? Well, maybe not...

 

Can you feel your financial temperature rising?

Unfortunately a little extra income often brings with it a damaging illness. Fluids won't help and paracetamol is useless. It's splurge fever, the almost uncontrollable urge to make lifestyle purchases now that you've got a little extra coin.

Splashing out on holidays, fancy gadgets, expensive clothes, even upgrading your car or home can all be symptoms. And if you're not careful they can quickly add up to a cracking financial headache.

So what can you do?

 

There is a cure!

The good news is splurge fever is easily treated. The bad news is the best cure is prevention (what, isn't there a pill I can take???). And in the world of finance when we're talking about prevention, what we mean is planning.

There's no reason why your extra income can't mean rewarding yourself or even looking at upgrading your home or car, as long as it's part of a planned, well-managed process.

 

How to fight the fever

The biggest financial danger for new specialists is uncertainty. Yes, you will likely be earning more money. The big question is how much more? Unfortunately many new specialists overestimate their new income and commit to spending that becomes like a weight around their neck.

It might not be as exciting as splashing out on a new private movie room for your house, but my advice to new specialists is to follow a four-stage process for approaching this new stage of their career:

  1. Have patience - delay making any big financial decisions until you're established as a specialist and have a clearer idea of what your long-term average income is likely to be.
  2. Set goals - understand clearly what you want to achieve financially and what the costs are.
  3. Consider all possibilities - model different financial scenarios with realistic returns to see the bigger picture and assist with decision-making.
  4. Make a plan - develop a financial strategy to get you where you want to be over time.
With a small dose of planning and an injection of self-discipline, you can avoid falling victim to splurge fever.
Author: Sean O'Kane Connect via: LinkedIn
Tags: Wealth Creation Budget Financial planning Planning Financial independence Risk management

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