a spender and a saver

Can You Be a Spender AND a Saver?

We received an email from a woman; we’ll call her Kelly, who was on a collision course.  She had a habit that was driving her crazy! A successful, ambitious woman, Kelly was making herself nuts by shopping and buying what she wanted on the weekend, and then returning virtually everything she bought that next week. Yes, she is a spender and a saver.

Spender Shopping meets Saver Regret

Kelly confessed that she returns things so frequently she devised a confidential system for keeping the tags from every item. She keeps a secret box under her bed where all the tags are organized, alphabetically, by store. Costco, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target, Trader Joe’s and, of course, Zappos with “free shipping and free returns 365-days a year.” If a store doesn’t take returns without question, Kelly will not let herself shop there.

a spender and a saverKelly loves buying things. She gets a rush from making purchases. She loves shopping and picking things out for others. But after she buys things she feels guilty for spending the money.  So guilty that she almost always makes herself take everything back. This head-on collision in her head was driving her insane!

The Opposite Dynamic in Action

One weekend, she went shopping and found her husband a gift she knew he would absolutely love and use almost daily. She was tickled by her good fortune. She shared with us her thought process on the way home in the car.

“Wow, he is going to love this! It will be perfect for his office.”
“It is so totally HIM!”
“He’s been looking for one for years. I can’t wait to see his face!”

Three red lights later.

“I wonder if they ever put these on sale.”
“I’ll bet they do at certain times of the year. Ugh. I should have waited.”
“He mentioned not working from home as much. Maybe he won’t even use it.”
“People certainly have gotten along without them for years.”
“I never should have spent that much money. Ugh. I’ll just take it back.”

This kind of internal tug of war is common in someone who has the Opposite Dynamic – 2 Money Personalities colliding.

A friend told Kelly about our Money Personality Assessment so she spent 15 minutes and found out she’s a Spender/Saver.  She said, “I took the quiz. The clouds parted! I wasn’t crazy! Just a little conflicted. Ha! But what I learned helped me understand my internal tension.”

Every person has a Primary and a Secondary Money Personality. Sometimes the two create an internal tension and lead someone to want to do two opposing things. This can create the collision Kelly was feeling – wanting to spend AND wanting to save. But, Opposite Dynamics don’t have to be a liability, cause migraines, or collisions. Opposite Money Personalities can create great balance and can be a healthy diagnostic check.

Can you relate to Kelly? Do your Money Personalities collide or support each other? We’d love to hear your stories below!

To learn more about The 5 Money Personalities™, check out our website at www.TheMoneyCouple.com or pick up our new book, The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language.

Make it Happen!
Scott & Bethany Palmer

2 thoughts to “Can You Be a Spender AND a Saver?

  • culpees

    My name is Randi. I’m a full time working mom who travels for business, volunteers weekends at church and is raising 3 kids. My husband is also a full time employee AND he is back in college getting a new degree. So we’re busy to say the least. I am definitely a saver. I freak out when DH spends money on silly things like legos…let’s admit it; men are large-sized children! When I am constantly forgoing things we NEED just to save money. I feel like he spends it and I save it. BUT honestly, I am a bit of a spender also. I definitely contribute to our overspending problem. I’ve set up our accounts so that we’re running our money from two checking accounts (1-“Billing Acct” for bills and 1- “Expense Acct” for daily expenses) and we have our savings account. Every paycheck has 20% go to savings plus any extra left over. All money needed to cover predictable/ budgeted expenses like childcare, utilities, loans, credit… go to the Billing account where those items are paid from. All remaining expendable money goes to the Expense account where we have ___much left to spend and we only have it for the next 2 weeks so make it stretch! The problem is, we often have to pull from savings to supplement our expense account because we can’t say no! But at least our bills are paid! This was a solution after 10 years of marriage..to protect our credit and our mortgage! As far as shopping goes…I try not to because it’s addicting. Once I’ve done it, I want to do it more. Fortunately with 3 kids and zero time, I barely get groceries bought!

  • Mason

    I have the shiny object syndrome. I am attracted to new gadgets all the time and wants to own them all. But shortly after i have them, the feeling of “freshness” wears off and i am looking for new things to buy again. Not very healthy for my pocket, but i just can’t control it…


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