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Book review – Spenditude by Paul Gordon and Janine Robertson

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

This book was on my summer reading list and it was an easy read. Spenditude covers a few areas of interest for me being cash flow management and attitude to spending as I have a keen interest in behavioural finance. What is fascinating is that it is not what you earn that has the most significant impact on your financial outcomes; it is your attitude to money!


The authors divide people into three categories:

Defenders – these people are very good at managing their money. They prioritise value for money, invest for long term growth, hate waste and excess and are financially successful. They can sometimes be procrastinators as they are trying to make sure they are getting value for their money.

Spenders – sounds obvious and it is. Those in this category spend everything they earn (and more). They are after instant gratification and value the pleasure of having it now, rather than investing or purchasing assets that will grow over time. Spenders are optimistic, easy-going, reckless. Spenders don’t WANT to change and this is their biggest hurdle.

Slenders – these people have some Spender and some Defender qualities. They have an idea about what they should be doing and generally have a plan but are frustrated that they could be doing better and envious of others getting ahead of them, often seek value and plan a budget, yet may have a blowout. They are known to say things like “I just can't seem to get ahead”.

The book explains that defenders have strong FOCUS. Spenders have no focus. A defender will ask themselves “Do I need it now? How am I going to fund it? Can it Wait? Is it the right price? Is it tax effective? Will it put me under my safety threshold?” They are mindful about purchases to make sure they are true to their values, goals and plans. Slenders want to do the right thing and attempt to do things right. They live skinny; they are conservative; they don’t like debt; however, they may not have a plan or lose focus quickly. Slenders make up the majority of the population and have the best chance of change (slenders are perfect for financial advice as they need the accountability we provide).

The book recommends that change (forming new habits) is hard and discusses the importance of better sleeping will have for success on change. This is fascinating information, and I believe many of us are not getting quality sleep due to our busy lifestyles and addictions to technology and devices.

The authors use a life journey timeline by using a fascinating analogy of the days of the week:

Monday are < 20-year-olds; Tuesdays are your 20’s; Wednesday – 30’s; Thursday – 40’s; Friday – 50’s

Then you have the weekend: Saturday – 60’s and Sunday- 70’s.

The weekend is time to slow down, get a return on all that exertion during the week. Defenders enjoy the weekend as they get to utilise some passive income from their good money habits, Slenders may realise they need to work into Sunday and Spenders are struggling. Ring true?

A new week or Long Weekend: Monday – 80’s; Tuesday – 90’s; Wednesday – 100’s.

These days we are living almost two full days longer than previous generations. This needs to be taken into account, especially if you’re a Spender or a Slender!

This book promotes mindfulness and understanding your motivations (some of this reading can be confronting, and you need to be honest with yourself) Are your spending habits triggered by emotions? Do you value money in all its forms (plastic cards, online transactions, wearables, actual cash)?

Once you identify your category and spend some time to understand your motivators, you can start to formulate changing your habits (and internal dialogue).

This new decade brings an opportunity to change for the better. Will you put in the effort to get better with money?

Grab your copy at all good bookstores.

While all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither Tanya Carlson, GPS Wealth Ltd nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information


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