Spending Psychology and Progress Update 2/27/12


I wanted to check in with a progress update for the week. We haven’t paid off any more debt this month (though I’m still really proud of the amount we paid off at the beginning of February!). In fact, the last half of February has been a study in “how much of our budget can we blow out of the water?” I think we’ve managed to plug up most of our budget leaks – ok, let’s be honest: our budget ruptures (or any other word that means a HUGE GASH in the side of a ship).

When looking at the psychology of spending, I’ve noticed several different spending/saving personality types. Here are the ones I’ve noticed in my husband and me:

Save, Save, SPEND

Similar to the childhood game “Duck, Duck, Goose,” this spending/saving personality is one that demonstrates ENORMOUS willpower over an extended period of time – only to blow all of the savings in a HUGE lump sum. This is the person that doesn’t eat out for SIX MONTHS in order to save money, and then ends up blowing all of that hard work on $1,000 car speakers in a moment of weakness.

Here a Little, There a Little

If you ask this person how much money they blow in a month, their answer will be, “Not a whole lot. Just a little bit here and there.” Until they sit down to look at their expenses objectively, they’ll have no idea that spending $3 EVERY TIME you leave the house will eventually add up to major spending.

My husband is #1, and I’m #2. I’m not making a judgement over which is better or worse. Both can blow a budget like crazy. (And the COMBINATION of the two in our household is probably why our finances are like they are.) The goal of defining your spending/saving personality isn’t to point fingers or blaming someone else for your problems. It’s to find out where your weaknesses are so that you can build in financial accountability and change your spending patterns.

We can’t do this alone – we all need people who will ask us hard questions about our spending. What is YOUR spending/saving personality? Do you have anyone to hold you accountable for your spending?

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One Response to “Spending Psychology and Progress Update 2/27/12”

  1. Granny says:

    I'm probably the #2 – what's $30 for breakfast three days a week for my grandkids? Just a little until I realize I spent $100 last week for kids to eat breakfast! If I continue on that course – that's at least $400 a month – I've got to stop it.

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