Spending money and accumulating material things can be addictive. In fact, you can even experience a dopamine release in your brain, giving you a natural high, from the mere anticipation of buying something you want. Wanting to get that next hit of the good feels can mean using justifications for why you “need” to make a purchase. Today, we’re going to identify five types of spenders to help you pinpoint the common why behind your purchases. It’s not an instant cure for overspending, but it’s the beginning stages of doing the work. (Watch the video or read more below)
1. Treat Yo Self
Ah, the old justification routine of “I work hard, so I deserve this.” There are certainly times when it makes sense to indulge in a little “treat yo self”, but it’s way too easy to let this become a constant excuse for lavish spending and sinking into a debt cycle. If you’re using this mentality to justify your spending purchases more than 3 times a year, then it’s too many.
A FOMO spender is one who lets other people have considerable control over when and how you spend. You just want to be included, so you’re willing to spend what it takes to keep up.
Instead of being proactive about your financial priorities, you primarily operate on the whims of not wanting to feel left out. This could manifest in taking trips or even trying to keep up with how certain people in your life dress, workout and socialize.
We all make the occasional FOMO purchase. I had one back in August when I decided last minute to fly to Nashville to surprise one of my best friends on her 30th birthday. It totally qualifies as a FOMO purchase, because I really didn’t want to deal with the jealousy of seeing them partying on a boat without me!
Similar to comfort eating, this kind of spender is someone who makes a purchase (big or small) when they’re feeling down. Like I mentioned in the beginning, the anticipation of making a purchase can release dopamine in your brain, which gives you those feel good tingles, so it makes sense why some people turn to shopping in order to soothe.
Take note of when you tend to make impulse purchases. If there’s a consistent pattern of doing so when you’ve had a bad day, or got in a fight with your boyfriend or got yelled at by your boss — well, this is probably your spending type.
4. Straight up boredom
Eh, you’re kinda bored so you might as well just peruse some shops online or, even more crazy, go to an actual store!
This spending style harkens back to the days of just strolling around the mall with your friends in high school. It was something to do. Try coming up with a list of other distractions if you’re prone to going shopping as a filler activity.
5. Deal seeker
There’s an entire reality show genre about couponing, so the deal seeker is 100% a common type of spender. And sure, some of those folks come close to zeroing out and don’t spend much for all their purchases, but the sheer man hours researching those deals are worth a lot of money!
You might be a deal seeker if you use the excuse “but it was on sale” to make purchases you don’t really need. It’s one thing if you know you have to buy new clothes or kitchenware, so you hold out for sale, but it’s another if you get an email alert about your favorite store having a sale and use that to justify making a purchase.
If you didn’t need it anyway it’s still a waste of money, no matter how good the deal.