Too expensive? Make like Dan Andrews and just walk away

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has been absolutely slaughtered online for his decision to cancel the 2026 Commonwealth Games which was due to be held in regional Victoria – a decision made to reduce the burden on the state’s already overwhelming debt.

Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips said the government “had jeopardised Melbourne and Victoria’s standing as a sporting capital of the world” as well as disappointing “athletes, the excited host communities, First Nations Australians who were at the heart of the Games, and the millions of fans that would have embraced a sixth home Games in Australia”.

Many of us have been in similar positions to Dan Andrews (albeit on a much smaller scale) where our financial commitments, such as a car loan, have become unsustainable.Credit: Dionne Gain

I understand the disappointment, however, rather than dwelling on the validity of the decision itself (after all, I’m a finance columnist, not a sports columnist), let’s explore the underlying narrative and why embracing change should be seen as a courageous and necessary act.

Originally, the 12-day sporting event was budgeted to cost $2.6 billion, which has now been revised to be about $6-7 billion, a whopping $4.4 billion over budget – making it an unsustainable burden on the state’s economy. With Victoria’s debt forecast to be $135.4 billion in 2024, rising to $171.4 billion by 2026-27, it’s a decision that arguably needed to be made if we’re just looking at the financial side of things.

So why have we so quick to crucify a decision that was made to prioritise our community’s financial stability over fleeting prestige?

Many of us have been in similar positions (albeit on a much smaller scale) where our financial commitments have become unsustainable. It could be a car loan that’s weighing heavily on your shoulders or a debt that’s keeping you up at night.

Changing your mind doesn’t make you a flake; it makes you human.

Often what is trapping us in these situations isn’t just the money. Sometimes it’s the fear of judgment and the perception that changing our minds when it comes to big money decisions is embarrassing. As someone who’s been there – I used to have a car loan and a stack of personal debt looming over my head – what I can tell you is this is a toxic mindset, and it takes immense courage to confront it and make necessary changes.

Think about this: you find yourself entangled in a car loan you thought you really needed – after all, you got a promotion, and your mate John just bought a new car too. You’ve decided you deserve it.

However, it’s eroding your financial stability, and while the smartest decision on paper might be to let the car go, you’re worried sick about what others might think. You only just got the car, surely you can’t give it up after only six months?

In another hypothetical, maybe you’ve been planning on going on a big European summer holiday. You’ve been working towards it for years and planned every single moment along the way. However, life has changed recently, your partner got made redundant and the cash flow you assumed you’d have just isn’t there right now – do you change your plans or do you stick to the original ones because you’re worried what others might think?

The sad reality of our world is that society often places a premium on material possessions, and we must remind ourselves that true happiness does not lie in how many assets we can accumulate, but rather in securing a stable and fulfilling future. We need to shed the notion that material things will elevate our social standing or change our lives fundamentally. Instead, we should align our priorities with what truly matters and be unafraid to change our minds if it means fostering a better life.

Changing your mind doesn’t make you a flake; it makes you human. It reflects your growth, your willingness to adapt, and your commitment to personal empowerment. Society often shies away from change, clinging to the comfort of predictability. But in doing so, we might find ourselves trapped in unfavourable financial situations that limit our growth and happiness.

Perhaps we can take inspiration from Andrews’ bold decision and recognise that we too have the power to change our lives for the better. Whether you are 20 or 40 or 60, no financial decision is “too soon” to reassess. We should embrace the empowerment that comes with taking charge of our destiny, unshackling ourselves from crippling debt or unsustainable commitments we assume we need to keep because the decision had already been made.

I see it in my community all the time, and it makes me insanely proud – people taking charge instead of being held back by the assumption that they’ve already dug their own graves and must live with the consequences of their own actions.

Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday the cancellation of the Commonwealth Games planned for regional Victoria.Credit: Marija Ercegovac

You can change your life for the better, and while it might be a little uncomfortable to make the decision, future you is thanking you for how comfortable they will be once that decision starts paying dividends.

Andrews’ choice to prioritise healthcare and the wellbeing of Victorians over the Commonwealth Games should be commended, not condemned – in the same way your personal decisions should be.

Embracing change is a powerful act of personal growth and empowerment. Let us challenge the toxic culture that shames us for making necessary adjustments to create a brighter and more sustainable future. Remember, your financial well-being is in your hands, and it’s okay to change your mind for the better.

(PS. If you’re reading this Dan, first – you’re welcome, but second – that money you’re saving from the Commonwealth Games, can we have a chat about how that’s going to be redistributed to hospitals, schools and maybe a financial literacy program?)

Victoria Devine is an award-winning retired financial adviser, best-selling author, and host of Australia’s number one finance podcast, She’s on the Money. Victoria is also the founder and co-director of Zella Money.

  • Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investing or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.

For expert tips on how to save, invest and make the most of your money, delivered to your inbox every Sunday, sign up for our Real Money newsletter here.

Most Viewed in Money

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article