A Spender vs. Saver
Whenever articles come out that ask: Are you a natural-born Saver or Spender? I always think about which category I’d fall into.
On the surface, I’d probably be classified as a natural saver – I save for retirement, long-term goals, big trips, etc., and I don’t live beyond my means. And yet, I think I am a spender trapped inside a saver’s body – because I really, truly, hate the feeling of not being able to spend.
If you are like me, you wouldn’t be very good at depriving yourself / enforcing no-spend rules. For example, I thought about going to Paris one night, and bam, I am making plans for a $4,000 trip. I see a beautiful $300 dress, and I click “Buy” after just a few hours (the travesty is that I still have not worn that dress. Six months later. But I will in October for a wedding). I go through Starbucks like they are going out of style, and at $4 per latte it would be a very good thing for my wallet if they DO go out of style. I eat out much too much.I tried living without a budget and while that went OK for a while, I soon realized that, nope, I DO need an
budget adult allowance. I get bitten by the shopping bug.
Can you become a saver if you are naturally inclined to spend?
I think so. Just like you can still get in shape if you hate exercise or you can still eat healthily even if you love sweets. It’s all about playing little tricks on yourself to help you along. How I’ve done that is to put away money before it gets into my hands. I do this with my 401K contributions – every month over $2,000 disappears before I get my paycheck. That way, my spending is constrained by the money that I actually have. I also try to minimize my BIG expenses (rent, car, etc.) so I don’t have to go through daily acts of deprivation (no Starbucks, no eating out).
Automatic savings, paying myself first, and forgetting about the money I have so I always feel less well-off than my bank ledger – these are the ways I try to keep my inner spender at bay!