Finance | Our Family Budget

What Kind Of Spender Are You?

When I first started to think about certain types of spenders I could only think of a few until I realized the buck didn’t stop there. We all spend money for reasons that are personal and “in the moment” and even I have had the tendency to be a spender of  all the below categories (except the hot chick phone calling.. not this guy). Although I have to admit I have been seduced by some pretty good marketing schemes and no not Sham Wow!

Although we are what I like to call “savvy shoppers” in the Canadian Budget Binder household we aren’t perfect, no one is and we fall off track once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as we recognize that we aren’t going overboard with what we are spending our money on. I know that without our budget it would be very easy to justify spending in these ways but we don’t really give in. I’m not saying that we don’t try to justify buying something when we are shopping because that would be a straight up lie. We are always throwing ideas back and forth at each other even if it is in the grocery store. We also find we are under alot more pressure around the holiday season.

Here’s a classic scenario:

Mrs. CBB– Oh honey, look it’s on sale and I’m in the mood for it….

Mr. CBB– Is it on the list? (ha, this is my famous line although she uses it on me)

Mrs. CBB- “Shakes head” and smiles because she realizes that she really didn’t need it. We know now to stop, think and ask ourselves questions.

We do this to each other because it’s about “giving your head a shake” and  asking yourself  “Why”. Why do you need to purchase the item and can we afford it in the budget? Often people who fall prey and become a “shopping addict” don’t see the overall big picture right away, if ever. A credit card feels like free money to them but it’s really only a piece of plastic. They simply keep on shopping with no real consequences as each shop can easily be justified. Nothing comes to a halt until they either stop shopping and get a grip, their credit score is ruined, creditors are calling or they have to begin a debt repayment plan or worse, bankruptcy.

Types Of Spenders- Can you think of any others?

  • The “Sentimental” Spender- You see items that remind you of someone, a lost love, an ex, a time or a moment that was special. You may also shop simply because it makes you feel better so you are all cheery and smiles. It defines you.
  • The “Bargain Basement” Spender- Always looking for a deal or to save a buck with a sale, coupon, or haggling the best deal.
  • The “Obsessive” Spender- Can’t say no and keep on buying and stockpiling more and more. You get excited easily and drawn in by amazing sales.
  • The “Dreamy” Spender- Shops with no thought to money or budget just a fluffy shopper who will worry about the bill when it comes in. You tend to have your head in the clouds dreaming and spending like an A-lister instead of spending what you actually can afford.
  • The “Hospitable” Spender- You see items that are good for others and that you know they will like so you buy it for them.
  • The “Seduced Spender”– You are seduced by marketing ploys or by what others tell you about products or schemes so you buy them. You trust without doing your homework first. Example: One that comes to mind are those late night “Call me now baby” television ads. They have hot, sexy women/men in the commercial visually seducing men and women into spending $4.99 a minute to call them. But is it really them you are calling? If you believe that you or chose to fantasize that it is then you are exactly the type of person they love. This seduction plays with our mind and emotions, be careful.. recognize what is real and what is a money grab.
  • The “Influenced Spender” -When you are hanging out with your friends, family or co-workers you buy more than you need to or are easily influenced by them.
  • The “Need It” Spender- You only buy something when you need it and keeps the budget in check. You stick to the list.
  • The “Online” Spender- You scan the internet on your computer looking for deals that you can buy from the comfort of your own space.
  • The “Second-Hand” Spender- You buy second-hand and ravage through thrift shops and consignment stores looking for that special item sometimes buying more than you need.

Ways you can control your spending style?

If your find that your spending habits are way out of whack and you are either spending more money than you earn or more that you designated in your budget. If it were me than I would ask myself these four questions.

  1. Why am I this type of spender and what are my triggers?
  2. What can I do instead of shopping when I feel a certain way?
  3. How can I say no I am on a budget and walk away?
  4. What kind of spender do I really want or need to be?

We have a mate who is so skint (broke) that she literally lives pay cheque to pay cheque. She can’t afford to shop for anything new and everything she owns is falling apart as she can’t afford to maintain it. She never goes to the dentist or to get her eyes checked because she says it costs too much money.

She is everything above but the “On-line” and “Need it” spender. Mrs. CBB has been best friends with her a long time and although she wants to help she understands that you can’t help those that don’t want the help or aren’t motivated to change. Yes she has had some rough times but you just have to believe and slowly she tries to motivate her.

I can count on 2 hands how many times she has moved since I’ve known her in the past 5 years. She always gets kicked out or owes back rent so she has to move. It’s always been that she can’t afford the rent because her car broke down and needed money for repairs or her adult kids need cash as they are following in her footsteps and have nothing.

  • Does she budget no?
  • Does she have savings, no?
  • Does she have debt, yes?
  • Does she make decent money? Over $18 an hour.

Where does all the money go?

She goes to singles parties, relationships, buying crap she doesn’t really need at second-hand shops (tonnes of clothes and ornamental stuff),Tim Hortons, Dollarama, garage sales and kijiji as she is an emotional spender.

Her life didn’t turn out the way she wanted it to so she spends until she has no more. She feels that it will never get better so she blames the world and her past mistakes and problems and has given up. She buys about 3 extra-large Tim Horton’s coffee’s a day and goes to bingo on occasion. She smokes over a pack of cigarettes a day, yet.. she complains she is always broke. She should be retiring in about 19 years but will have nothing but government pension as she blew her RRSP’s on items she no longer even owns pool, motor cycle, gear and a dog etc.

What would you say to motivate this person if she asked your for advice?

We have to start owning up to our spending habits and the debt we are creating and become smart spenders. There is no room for whiners because we all have to take responsibility for our financial health whether we make $500 a month or $10,000 a month, whether we are in debt up to our eye balls or are living debt free. We all have limits and to stay afloat we have to live with-in our means even if that means we have to alter the budget to get us out of debt until we can stand on our own 2 feet again. Easier said then done, you bet but wasting time complaining isn’t going to get you very far.  So, I ask you… what kind of spender are you?

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