In our last post we wrote about the “psychology behind saving and spending” and how we develop our relationship to money and we promised you we’ll write something more on it. In the examples bellow we will go over through what drives a “saver” and what a “spender”.
These are a few things that define us as savers or spenders:
In the well known marshmallow experiment of the ’60s, researchers at Stanford presented nursery school children with a tray of goodies that contained marshmallows, pretzels, and cookies. Researchers told the kids to select one treat, and that if they ate it immediately, they wouldn’t receive any more, but if they waited only a few minutes, they would receive another one. If they could delay their gratification for a few moments, they would double their candy. They observed the children until they were adults and learned that the ones who were able to delay their gratification achieved much more success in life than the ones who wanted instant gratification.
If you’re a spender, you can’t delay the gratification. With cash in front of you, just like the marshmallow, you can’t resist the urge to have it right now even if you’d have more later.
So, we hope that these 7 ways to calm your impulses will help you to stop your spending:
- Leave your credit card at home. By using cash, you force yourself to consider just how much you’re spending.
- Withdraw cash from your bank account yourself, so that you can see the dwindling balance.
- Pay as you go. Don’t run a tab at a bar, and don’t pay everything up front for a romantic weekend getaway. Pay for everything as it comes, and you’ll better understand how all that money just “gets away from you.”
- Be vocal about your savings goals. If you tell close friends and family how much you intend to save and by what date, they’ll hold you accountable. You can even use personal goal setting tools to put money on the line to achieve your long-term financial goals.
- Reward yourself when you meet your savings goals, but only by spending a responsible percentage of what you saved. This can help prevent frugal fatigue.
- Stop and ask yourself before each and every purchase whether or not you truly need the item. Know the difference between needs and wants.
- Look at the future, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Ask yourself questions like how much money you’ll need to retire, or how you’ll pay for your child’s college education.
In another famous experiment, adults had the choice of receiving $50 immediately or waiting a year and receiving $100. Most participants surprised researchers by taking the $50. The instant gratification appeared more valuable than doubling the earnings after a delay. Savers are the rare ones who sacrifice plenty of gratification to make sure to get the full $100 when it’s available.
While many people take pleasure in buying things, savers don’t feel that same way. Instead, you’re uncomfortable with shopping, and you feel real emotional pain when you’re paying. But what makes you tick and brings you pleasure as a saver? Are you missing out on some of life’s simple, inexpensive joys?
Researchers explain that two primary motivators drive savers: pain and pleasure. And if you’re not experiencing enough pleasure, you deserve to spend some money on something you really want.
- When it’s time for something pleasurable, like a vacation, distance yourself by paying with a credit card. You’ve already set your budget and you have the cash to cover it, so now you can take your mind off of the expense and relax.
- Be vocal about your spending goals. When you’re planning to make an exciting purchase, even if it sounds like a boring necessity, tell everyone you know and set a date to close the deal.
- Treat your purchases as a reward for something that you’ve done well, so they’ll take on more value in your mind.
- Think of your future: Do you really want to have regrets over the things you didn’t do because you wouldn’t spend some money on enjoyment?