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Insight of the Day: Stressed about the economy? ‘Doom spenders’ in Singapore splurge on dining, travel despite debt risk

What is "doom spending"?

  • Spending in Response to Stress: It refers to the act of spending money, often on non-essentials or luxury items, as a way to cope with anxiety or negative feelings about the future.

  • Economic Uncertainty as a Trigger: Doom spending is often triggered by worries about the economy, job security, potential financial hardships, or other major life changes (like becoming a parent in Joe's case).

  • The Illusion of Control: People might indulge in doom spending because it provides a temporary sense of control and gratification in an otherwise uncertain situation.

Who is most at risk in Singapore?

  • 40-somethings: The article highlights that financial consultants are seeing more cases of doom spending among people in their 40s.  This age group likely faces a blend of financial responsibilities (children, mortgages) and concerns about future career stability.

  • "Henrys":  The acronym stands for "High Earners, Not Rich Yet". This group earns decent salaries but may have accumulated less wealth, making them vulnerable to financial insecurity during economic downturns.

Why is doom spending a concern?

  • Increased Debt: Spending impulsively to alleviate stress can lead to increased debt and further worsen long-term financial stability.

  • Neglecting Essential Needs: Prioritizing luxury purchases or experiences might mean neglecting savings for emergencies or essential expenses.

  • Temporary Relief: The feeling of relief provided by doom spending is often short-lived, potentially leading to a cycle of stress and overspending.

Important Considerations

  • It's crucial to recognize the link between emotional states and spending habits. Doom spending is a coping mechanism, and finding healthier ways to handle stress is essential for lasting financial well-being.

  • Singapore's context, with its focus on saving and a high cost of living, might exacerbate the negative consequences of doom spending.

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