Just do a search for any combination of: spending, personalities, or habits and you’ll be rewarded with dozens of links to quizzes and descriptions of the different categorizations. Probably the most entertaining breakout I found was over at Smart Cookies.
Turns out… I’m a YO-YO SPENDER.
Whether you spend $5 on premium coffee everyday for a whole month or save all month just to spend it in one evening – you’re still out the same amount. But is that necessarily a bad thing? As long as your net savings are greater than your net spending, shouldn’t we be able to enjoy what’s important to us?
Simply put, Different People Have Different Desires.
This came up after a recent Cirque Du Soliel show. Check out the trailer below. If you aren’t purchasing your tickets now… well I guess that’s your prerogative… but you have to admit their skills are definitely impressive.
Of course, we did go on a weekday and Mrs. FinEngr secured a student ticket, so we didn’t pay “full price”, although it was still a pretty penny to attend.
To set the record straight, I don’t feel entitled in my spending, trivialize my spending, buy impulsively, and I never ever am concerned with how my purchases meet the status quo.
Even though I don’t have any of those other spending characteristics, they all share a common problem.
- With regular spenders, they can trivialize the regular cost justifying the overall purchase. They can’t see how the cost compounds and enjoy that daily satisfaction. How could we take that small indulgence away from them?
- The extravagant spender can justify their purchases from some status source. They’ve worked hard, earned money, and damn well will buy whatever they want. Or maybe they were one-hit wonder on a reality show. Doesn’t matter, either way we wouldn’t understand. ;)
- Deals are all around! Can you believe the discounts? With the sale spender, it’s very easy to justify those purchases since they technically aren’t paying “full price”. They’re being a responsible shopper right? What’s the problem?
- Whoa! That’s hot. Better get it now! If it’s here now, why would you wait? Impulse shoppers use the “here and now” (time and place) to justify that unplanned purchase. Instead of making another trip back, it’s more efficient to get it while you’re free.
- You work hard. You save. You do everything you should. Why not indulge yourself once in a while? Splurge shoppers don’t give consequence to their purchases because they see them as being few and far between. Problem is – what happens when you have selective memory?
These are just a few examples of how different types of spenders can rationalize every one of their purchases. Alright, so if we can’t fight our spending habits, can we trick out brain into thinking otherwise?
Sure. There’s plenty of ways, some gimmicky some legitimate, to fool yourself into not spending in these instances, but let’s say you’re beyond that. Not only can you control your spending habits, but you also practice “conscious spending” or the act of spending only on those things you are truly passionate about. What else can you do to reinforce spending in moderation?
Calculating the “total cost” of any purchase can be a very sobering experience. When you take all the direct and indirect costs associated with whatever it is you’re interested in, it can provide an eye-opening conclusion – this is much bigger than you thought.
It would be easy to look at just the ticket costs, but I wanted to view it more globally – the entire night. When I threw in our dinner, parking for dinner, parking for the event, and drinks at the event (it got stuffy inside the tent by intermission, and of course, there were no water fountains). All and all, we couldn’t just say the show cost X since it actually cost X + Y + Z!
I’ve been using this trick often on trips as a way of reigning in costs and avoiding looking at each experiential purchase as a single event. Presenting myself with the actual breakdown of costs as they’re being incurred gives an instant snapshot of where your money is going. If costs seem to be spiraling out of control, you can nip it in the butt earlier on and being left awestruck at the end of it all.
And this can be easily applied to any spending habit as well. Say you like to go on shopping sprees, keep a running tally of all the costs each time you leave the store. I’d bet you stop at 1 or 2 less stores using this approach.
Expenses are slippery little things and can quickly get away from even the most well-intentioned spender. If you’re spending with one hand and saving with the other, just make sure to keep that saving hand higher than the other, keep the spending hand balanced, and don’t let it tilt the scale in the other direction!