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Have Your Cake (and Eat it Too)

November 18, 2013 | Filed under Personal financial management

When money is limited, we need to make choices.

By spending money on something we want, we forego being able to spend the same money on something else.

Wouldn’t it be great, though, to have your cake and eat it too! Believe it or not, there is a way.

From an early age, we are taught to think of goals as being mutually exclusive. If you spend your pocket money on lollies and ice creams, you won’t have enough to go to the movies. If you want a trip to Hawaii, you can’t have a new car.

One technique for getting around mutual exclusivity is to be very clear on how much money your goals require. Saving for retirement is a commendable goal, but needs to be balanced with saving for shorter term goals so you can enjoy life. Use a retirement calculator (see to estimate how much money you will need to save for your retirement. Any additional savings can be spent on other goals without feeling guilty.

Another way of getting around mutual exclusivity is to look at how you frame your goals. Instead of having a goal of going to Hawaii, reframe the goal in terms of what is really important to you about that goal. For example, you could reframe it as “a memorable holiday in a tropical paradise by the sea”. Your new car goal could be reframed as “upgrade my car to something more modern and reliable”. Where else could you have a memorable holiday in a tropical paradise by the sea, at a lesser cost than Hawaii? Can you upgrade your car without getting a new one? By being able to make small sacrifices on the quality or quantity of your goals, you open up possibilities of achieving more of them.

Liz Koh is no ordinary financial planner. Sure, she can give you the best possible advice on how to manage your money and increase your wealth. But her mission is much broader. It’s to help you enjoy life—to the max! find out more at


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