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What Are the Different Types of Spenders?

One way or another, we all spend money. As a branch manager of a financial institution, and a loan manager for many years, certain patterns have become evident. Yes, we all spend money, but not all the same way. There are (at least) six different types of spenders when it comes to how individuals handle their money.

Let’s take a look at the different types of spenders and see what insights it offers about our personal spending habits. If you identify yourself here, it would be great to consider what can be done to help you manage your money in the best ways.

The Six Different Types of Spenders

1. Got-to-Have-It Spenders

These type of spenders think they have to have that new dress, new pair of shoes, new device or new car. You get the point. Whatever it might be, they got-to-have-it. They are chronic, or compulsive shoppers and, although they may not have the funds on hand, they will go to their next available credit card (if they have to) in order to make that got-to-have-it purchase.

Now, in reality, there are very few items that we have to get. But sometimes, this approach to spending is an excuse to satisfy an internal urge, or issue, that can be much deeper. And in some instances, it can very well be an actual addition.

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I equate it to having a sweet tooth that you feel that you have to satisfy although you know it’s not good for you.

If you can identify with this type of spender, you may be asking what is the solution you can apply. One simple solution is to re-direct your energy to something else that will not cause you to succumb to the spending monster.

For instance, instead of making that purchase, turn your thoughts to taking a walk (especially if you are already in the mall).

The idea here is to give yourself a moment to step back and think. You can use this pause to ask yourself, Do I really need this purchase? And why? That simple interception of the purchase process can help you to realize that you did not need those new items and that it was just a momentary urge.

You can train yourself to stop the process, ask the important questions, and prevent unnecessary purchases.

2. Paycheck-to-Paycheck Spenders

When looking at the different types of spenders, these spenders usually have only enough finances to cover their monthly expenses. And when difficult times come, there is no financial backup plan in place that can help them.

How do I know if I am living from paycheck to paycheck?

– You have little to no money left after budgeting your monthly expenses.

– You do not have a savings account.

– You have a savings account but it does not have sufficient funds to cover your monthly expenses.

– You are financially stressed most times because of uncertainties.

– You always have an unpaid balance left on your credit card.

paycheck to paycheck spender_empowering the possibilitiesLiving from paycheck to paycheck is not the way most people want to live. It’s certainly not the optimal way to manage your money. The fact is, it’s wise to have some savings that you can rely on if an unexpected emergency arises

Granted, these are some trying economic times. In today’s financial climate, many people believe that it is almost impossible to save money as their bills need to be paid.

Contrary to this belief, you don’t have to continue living paycheck to paycheck. There are ways you can get out of debt and start saving to be on your way to financial independence. In a recent blog, we discussed financial commitments that could be made to help individuals realize financial success.

Below are five helpful tips to help you stop living from paycheck to paycheck.

– Prioritize your needs from your wants. Ask yourself if that item/product/accessory is a need or a want.

– Don’t use one credit card to pay off another.

– Don’t live above your means (be realistic about what you can afford).

– To make big purchases, save a little at a time toward the price of the item.

– Have a garage sale (you can sell some of your unused/unwanted items and use the cash to pay bills or start a savings account).

– Start garage sale flipping (see video below), by purchasing items at deep discounts and reselling them.


3. Emotional Spenders

The third type of spender is the emotional spender. Have you ever felt down, lonely or worried and decided to go shopping just to feel better? If your answer is yes, then chances are that you have done this more than once and you may well be an emotional spender.

According to, emotional spending “occurs when you buy something you don’t need and, in some cases, don’t even really want, as a result of feeling stressed out, bored, under-appreciated, incompetent, unhappy or any number of other emotions.

Spending to soothe your emotions is not only bad for your finances, but also for your psychological wellbeing.

Bear in mind that emotional spending is only a temporary fix. Whatever emotion you were feeling before going shopping will still be there after the novelty of the items you’ve purchased is long gone.

Emotional spending can cause you to go into debt and add financial stress to your life. This can in turn lead to health problems and more financial worries.

As an emotional spender you should make note of your weaknesses and triggers. Is your weakness jewelry, the latest fashions, shoes, watches, make up? Are your triggers loneliness, excitement, sadness, or even happiness? Yes, happiness can be a trigger to spend too. Recognizing your weaknesses or triggers is the first step to managing how you spend your money in relation to your emotional states.

Understanding the role that emotions play in your spending habits and working on ways to curb unnecessary spending is a great way to start turning your financial goals into a reality.

4. The Thrifty Spender

Another type of spender is the thrifty spender. Thrifty spenders will always have a budget front-of-mind. They tend to be very disciplined and good at self regulation.

They usually stick to their budget and are quite happy if they go under budget. They usually have money saved and make sure to use everything to the last drop. Thrifty spenders are always looking for a bargain or a next big sale. They have no issues with postponing purchases to coordinate them with upcoming sales.

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Are you a thrifty spender? If so, you may appreciate this resource that shows the best times to buy items year round. It shows what items are on sale from month to month.

Sometimes we tend to say that thrifty people are cheap, however, often times that is not the case.

Persons who prefer to be thrifty with their spending usually understand their financial obligations and the importance of saving for a rainy day. There are many advantages to being a thrifty spender, these can include:

– You can save money and have money to spend each month

– You can reduce financial stress and worry

– You are covered if there are any unexpected expenses

– You stay on track with your budget and spending

– You can work your way to be debt free

Although there are some great advantages to being a thrifty spender, there are also some disadvantages. For example, sometimes persons are so busy saving and staying on budget that they forget how to have fun. They see going to an amusement park, an aquarium or even just out for dinner as a waste of money. They have money, but they simply don’t enjoy it.

Remember, in everything you do in life there must be a balance. Being a thrifty spender does not mean you have to live a dull, boring life. Because you are saving money most of the time, you should have enough to treat yourself every once in a while. This way you can still enjoy life and save money at the same time.

5. Keeping up with the Joneses Spenders

These types of spenders are always most often in debt. They usually want the latest and the best, not because it is a need, but because they want to keep up appearances.

These spenders constantly want to impress the people around them (their friends, family, neighbors, colleagues) by buying the most expensive items and shopping at the upscale boutiques. This causes them to be in a constant state of debt because they are living above their means.

They look good at living a lie, but it comes with a tremendous price.

The keeping up with the Joneses lifestyle can benefit you if (and only if) the ones you want to keep up with are those that spend wisely and invest their money. In this case, the keeping up with the Joneses lifestyle is good because it can encourage you to make better financial decisions, based on what was modeled to you.

These types of spenders can end up in some difficult financial situations. They can incur major credit card debt and have monthly unpaid bills. They can end up resorting to borrowing from friends and family. They can have health issues due to repeated financial stress, and they can even face the shame and humiliation of bankruptcy.

If you’re this type of spender, all is not lost. By acknowledging it and choosing to break free from this cycle, you can break free of debt and be well on your way to financial freedom.

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6. Head-in-the-Sand Spenders

Just like an ostrich hides its head in the sand when there is danger, head in the sand spenders hide from their financial stress.

The objective for them is, ‘if they don’t see it, it doesn’t exist’. These types of spenders are optimistic even though they don’t have any savings and may not be able to pay one or more of their bills. They tend to ignore the bills they can’t pay.

Typically, these type of spenders are not financially prepared for any emergencies and don’t really think about the future. However their financial irresponsibility usually catches up to them.

There are really no positives to being a head-in-the-sand spender, because the financial stress is there even though they pretend not to think about it. Nonetheless, there is always hope for these types of spenders if they want to stop hiding from their financial realities.

It all starts with a plan. Creating a monthly budget, together with a financial plan and sticking to it, can help these spenders break free from debt and better manage their financial pressures.

Don’t be like the ostrich, ignoring the issues won’t make them go away. If you need help with a financial plan, the team at Empowering the Possibilities is here to help.

Have you seen yourself in any of these six different types of spenders? We would love to hear from you and to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

You can also reach out to Empowering the Possibilities on Facebook. And, of course, if this information was helpful to you, please be encouraged to share it with others, and follow/subscribe to our blog for more insights to support your financial success.


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