Do you wonder why you are a money saver or money spender?
Have you stopped to think that I should save more ?
Are you missing out on pleasures in life due to your saving?
It may not be your fault.
While the main drive on whether you are a saver or spender will come from conditioning, parents influence and training at an early age, there are those who defy the conditioning and break free from the habits.
Researchers Rick, Cryder and Lowenstein at the University of Michigan found that the brain is stimulated in the insula area when you experience displeasure. They found that the more stimulated the insula becomes the more likely it is that you will stop what you are doing. Insula stimulation can help you to stop spending money. For a saver the act of seeing the amount in the bank or saving on a product will bring intense pleasure. Whereas for a spender the fact that they are spending will bring the same intense pleasure.
The problems are that savers can grow up with regrets that they have missed out on life’s pleasures and spenders can get into trouble later in life.
Which are you?
In an experiment in the 60’s, researchers at Stanford presented children with a tray which held a treat of their choice, a cookie, marshmallow or pretzel. The children were told they could eat their treat now, but if they waited for 15 minutes they would be rewarded with another treat. The children were observed until adulthood, with the children who resisted temptation achieving more success than those who wanted instant gratification.
If you are a spender then you can crave the instant gratification which comes with a purchase. You may lose interest after the purchase and move onto the next object. You feel that you are living life to the full and the future can take care of itself.
Here are 5 ways you can calm your impulse spending habits.
Never use a credit card. If you always pay cash you will watch your money dwindle.
Reward yourself. When you set a goal of saving, sort out what rewards you will give yourself when you have achieved this. Make sure the rewards doesn’t use up all of the savings.
For every purchase ask yourself – Do I need it? Do I want it? Will I use it?
Look into the future and ask yourself how much money you will need for retirement and how you are going to achieve it.
Always pay up front, never set up a line of credit or a tab. This way you will see how much you are really spending.
In an experiment researchers offered people $50 now or $100 dollars in a year’s time. Most people chose the $50 now, to their surprise. The instant gratification was more important then being able to double their money. Those who waited for the year were the savers.
Is this a good thing?
Sometimes being a saver can be hard and you may make sacrifices you shouldn’t. You may save money instead of buying something you really need because the money in the bank is more satisfying than anything you can buy.
You are rarely in debt and are able to build a considerable nest egg while on an average salary.
You are uncomfortable buying things and rarely enjoy shopping. You are rarely pleased with your purchases.
Are you sacrificing too much? Are you missing out on life’s pleasures?
If you are not experiencing enough of life’s pleasures you need to loosen the purse-strings a little.
Some of the things you can do are:
Pay by credit card. This way you distance yourself from the monetary value of the purchase. Ensure you can afford it.
Being vocal about what you are going to purchase. This way you cannot feel that you can back out of the purchase – and you may even enjoy it!
Treat yourself. Use the work and reward ethos to allow yourself to make the purchases you know you can.
Think of the future – do you want to have regrets with what you could have had or done instead of memories of what you did and had?
We are in charge of our finances future and present. Becoming aware of the fact that it may be habit or conditioning that drives us to save or purchase is the first step to changing. We need to balance between spending and saving to have a wealthy life.
If you have any tips on redressing the balance between spending and saving then we would like to hear them, leave your comments in the box below. Many thanks in advance