Some financial experts act like people who enjoy spending money are wrong. We say, “Those experts are the ones who are WRONG.” Some people are just naturally wired to enjoy spending money. Some very successful people! In fact, these people have figured out lots of ways to be a successful spender. And we celebrate them!
Do you like to spend money? Stop feeling badly. Every person is born with a natural approach to money. Some people like to spend money while others find spending painful. Neither approach is wrong. Their approach is their natural money makeup, which we call your Money Personality.
Your Money Personality is hardwired in from the very start. It’s part of who you are. A person who likes to spend money (or save money) should be celebrated, not shamed. Would you shame someone for being naturally tall? No. The same goes for their Money Personality.
Every Money Personality has strengths and weaknesses so every Spender is smart to learn as much as they can about theirs (and their spouse’s), but once they understand this they can experience tremendous success with their money and their relationships.
If you are a Spender it is good to keep in mind these three ways to be a successful spender:
1. Rename your savings account a “future spending” account.
A Spender is much more likely to care about putting money in an account when they understand this account is for the sole purpose of allowing them to spend money in the future. It’s not a mind game. It’s a mindset.
Spenders don’t want to save, but they sure want to spend in the future, i.e. retirement, so taking the time now to add to their “future spending account” is much more attractive than feeling the pressure to do something that doesn’t come naturally, like saving.
This changed everything for our youngest son. He just couldn’t make himself save money. It sounded worse than going to the dentist. But when we started talking about how this “future spending account” could be used on a car. Everything changed! Our young Spender started saving so much money (which we promised to match) that he bought a car before he had his driver’s license.
Help a Spender save more money by shifting the focus and changing the name.
2. Plan your spending in advance.
Spenders need to stick to the plan if they are going to be successful. This means they can still spend and enjoy that, but within limits that make sense for the family.
Both Scott and I are Spenders. We like to spend money. So shopping with either of us can get off course fairly quickly if we don’t stick to the list.
Our oldest son used to remind me when we were shopping, “Mom, don’t get distracted by the coolness.” He was right. A Spender enjoys the process of shopping so much that they can get easily distracted and end up paying for it. So take it from Cole, “Don’t get distracted by the coolness.”
Shop with a list.
3. Choose wisely how you spend.
Even a Spender can get discouraged about their finances if they are spending on things that ultimately don’t matter. Make sure to spend – and enjoy it – but spend your hard-earned money on things of value. Give to charities, your church, others in need, or self-improvement. That smile, from your “spend,” lasts longer because it’s about the future and something bigger than you.
A recent study showed when researchers gave college students some extra cash and instructed one group to spend it on themselves and another group to spend it on others, the second group reported much more happiness than the first.
Enjoy your spending even MORE when you spend it to help others.
You don’t need to feel badly about your natural approach to money. If you like to spend money don’t be ashamed. Think of how many small businesses and even non-profits would not exist if it weren’t for a Spender.
Celebrate the fact that spending money doesn’t keep you up at night and especially when you pay attention to this short list of ways to be a successful spender.
Make it happen!
Scott & Bethany Palmer
The Money Couple
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