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What Type of Spender Are You?

What type of spender are you? Everyone spends their money in a different way.  It can depend upon values, personalities, priorities, psychology, etc. Whatever the reason, if you get a better idea of what type of spender you are, you can learn to make better decisions with your money. If you’re struggling with credit card debt, it’s good to be introspective about your spending habits.

Our debt counselors recommend evaluating your spending habits.

Our debt counselors recommend evaluating your spending habits.

Passive Spenders

These individuals don’t like to shop and usually buy items without comparing prices or asking questions.

“I need a pair of dress pants.  These look okay.  I don’t want to try anything on, though.  I think I’m a 34″ waist.  How much?  You know what, it doesn’t even matter.  I’ll take ’em.  Let’s get out of here.”

Avoidance Spenders

These individuals shop to avoid/escape dealing with the stresses of daily life.

“I need to finish putting together my sales report, but… it’s very important that I get a new tie today.  Yeah, that’s what I should do.  See you Monday.”

Impulse Spenders

These individuals buy items without planning their purchase and often buy things they don’t need. Our credit counseling advice is to plan your purchases ahead of time and stick to your list.

“Let’s see… where are the shovels?  Oh wait, check out this tractor.  Yard work at my condo would be a cinch with one of these bad boys.  Makes total sense.  Plus its got a cup holder.”

Therapeutic Spenders

In direct contrast to avoidance spenders, these individuals shop to cure what ails them. Spending is the solution, not the escape.

“I can’t believe how crazy my boss is. She totally flipped when I came in late today.  Ugh.  I’m getting a massage at lunch.  I wonder if Eduardo is available.  It’s right next to the shoe store. I’ll pop in and get some new heels too.”

Fanatical Spenders

These individuals are so busy looking for bargains that they may not realize all the time and energy that they’ve spent outweighs the bargain itself.

“So, if I sign up for a free membership, spend $50, print off the coupon from my email, and drive to the store across town, I save 10% on a box of rubber bands 2 weeks after I send in the mail-in rebate. Ha! It’s like I’m stealing from these suckers.”

Esteem Spenders

These individuals shop for things that they think will impress others, thus boosting their image and esteem.

“Check out my new ride! Yeah, that’s a Sherman Tank.  Sick, right?  It costs me $800 to fill the tank and takes me 2 hours to get to work, but it’s so baller.  The leopard upholstery is all custom.”

Recreational Spenders

These individuals shop to kill time.

“I’m bored. Hey, it’s a beautiful day out.  I think I’ll head to the mall, spend a few hours indoors, and buy some stuff that I really don’t need.”

Utilitarian Spenders

These individuals shop only to fulfill their needs, not wants.

“You’re ordering out for lunch again? I’ll just stick with my flavorless soy paste and saltines.  It meets all my nutritional needs and only costs 25 cents per serving.  Sure I love the taste of a cheeseburger, but flavor is frivolous.  I want to retire someday, so I’ll make do.”

Once you understand how your spending habits have evolved, and have identified your own values and personality, you can begin making more conscious decisions about how you spend your money.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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