In Summary
  • The audit is not about how much you spend.
  • It is figuring out whether your spending and intentions speak the same language.

Sometime last year, civil servants were made to undergo lifestyle audits, which were meant to determine whether their lifestyles were commensurate with their declared incomes.

Many struggled to justify their wealth.

Things show up in lifestyle no matter how much we want to hide them.

I have been having conversations with people who are at the stage of thinking about retirement.

Usually from the age of 40 upwards. This is the stage where you have lived long enough to know that five, 10 or even 15 years down the line are not too far, and life has to become a lot more intentional.

Also, the ups and downs you have experienced so far have given you enough material for reflection.


Budgeting or analysing where you spend your money is not an issue.

Many have done budgets and have a good indication of where their money goes. So the conversations we have are different.

The lifestyle audit for this purpose is not just about where you spend your money.

It is figuring out whether your spending and life intentions speak the same language. Are you happy to retain things as they are, challenge them, or change them? That’s lifestyle auditing.

You are going into a new season of life and you don’t need to carry everything with you.

It starts with what we think is the day-to-day stuff. Bills such as rent, transport and food.

You will still need to eat when you retire, but even then, your food bill reveals something.

For some people, the sheer amount that they are spending on food (even for those who no longer have children) indicates there is a lot of wastage or somebody in your house other than yourself is really benefiting from seven solid meals a day at your expense.

Some of my conversations reveal that people value having a well-stocked store. We think it is weird when the store is half or quarter full.

We might have grown up seeing that, and believe that is what a store should look like.

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