What kind of spender are you? In this blog I look at spending habits and the signs of spending addiction. Learn how to change your behaviour and control your spending
Businesses are constantly investing in strategies to help influence their target market (you) into buying their products. The purpose is to sell products to make money.
Competitions, discounts and sales are all marketing tools that are used to sell or promote products.
The rise of the influencer
The growing trend of social media influencers is on the rise. It’s just another way to market products and it's the way the world is going.
Many people now spend a lot of time on social media. So, where the people go, businesses will go, and products will flow. That way, they can be in your face.
The strategy of using influencers works - 70% of people will choose to purchase from a influencer over a sales man because it seems more honest and more genuine.
Why? Because you feel like you have more of a relationship with the influencer – they open up their lives daily, then show you how they use these products in their daily lives.
The snippets of the influencer’s life are usually the highlights and they present “the perfect life” – an attractive life that makes you want to follow them.
Influencers are generally paid a commission or something in return for promoting the product – it’s a win win for the influencer and the business.
But it may not be a win for you.
You end up being “influenced”, purchasing an unneeded product or spending money you don’t have (using a credit card or relying on afterpay).
Either way, DON’T WASTE TIME HATING ON INFLUENCERS, CREDIT CARD COMPANIES OR BANKS.
It’s your choice
At the end of the day it’s not their fault. They didn’t get your wallet and take money out of it to purchase the product. You chose to spend your money; you chose to borrow.
That credit card company or influencer is doing great, but unfortunately, it’s at the detriment to someone sitting in debt. An emotional spender or an influenced spender who may have a negative credit card balance because they want to live in the now, not thinking they are sacrificing something in the future to purchase this right now.
Sacrifice a little now, so you can live a great life in the future – you will reap the rewards in the future by tightening the belt now.
Signs of a spending addiction:
- You never have enough money – reaching for a credit card, no savings – nothing to show for the purchases you bought, other than materialistic items, with no investment (remember even savings are an investment).
- Buying new things and you have items with tags still on them in your household.
- Sense of anxiety if you don’t shop – like something is missing.
- Emotional shopping – reacting to a sense of a particular feeling, such as unhappiness, boredom etc
- Lying about purchases, hiding purchases or downplaying how much they cost
What can you do about it?
If you have a spending addiction, I suggest starting by temporarily unfollowing influencers on social media and unsubscribing from all retail emails.
Draw up a budget – one that allows you to have something weekly as a reward to sticking to your budget – a dinner out, a takeaway coffee, a day at the beach.
Slowly start cutting down your frivolous spending until you have found a happy medium. Save $1000 for an emergency fund.
Cut up your credit cards or any other card that is not a debit card. Use a debit card and cash only to pay for your expenses. Reach out to a professional who can help you change your money habits.
Changing habits by replacing behaviours
If you find you are reaching for your phone at night, watching social media and then shopping online – replace this by reading a book, watching TV or a movie, meal planning, journaling or yoga. Delete any credit card numbers saved on your phone.
If you find you are spending a lot on takeaways or spending more than you would like to on food, start putting time aside to meal plan. Prepping your food at home is a lot cheaper than purchasing takeaways.
Purchase the ingredients from your meal plan online. Do weekly, fortnightly or monthly shops – avoid frequent trips to the grocery store – you will spend more.
Set the time aside – because it’s habit to make excuses like “I’m tired”, “I don’t have time” – that’s when we resort to purchasing takeaways.
You could also look at purchasing Food Bags – these might work out cheaper especially if you are frequently purchasing takeaways during the week. This way, all the hard work in prepping and organising your meals is completed for you and delivered to your door.
Discount codes, online codes, store sales – the bargain shopper can smell any deal. You may think this is the “ideal” type of shopper, however you need to keep in mind those shoes are on sale from $100 to $50 – you didn’t save $50 you spent $50.
But if you budgeted for $100 prior to going shopping and you initially and intentionally saved the cash and you bought $100 shoes for $50 – then you have saved $50.
Also, don’t get caught out by shopping at a second-hand store – I know many second-hand shoppers and it can really add up. Moral of the story – it doesn’t matter where you shop it’s how much you spend.
The first step is admitting or uncovering why you get an urge to shop. Are you unhappy? Feeling empty - like you’re missing something? Depressed? Excited and want to be rewarded?
We need to identify these emotions and write down ‘when?’ and ‘where?’. Then try and find out ‘why?’.
Once we have found our triggers we can change our habits. I suggest journaling so you can look back and identify a pattern.
What’s helping you purchase items? Is it the resources? Having your phone on hand, having a credit card, having a laptop, having money in your account that you just want to use?
Ask yourself these questions and really break it down and brainstorm – then find a way of illuminating the triggers.
If you think you’ve got a spending addiction, I can help. Get in touch to book one-on-one coaching help.