Why Do You Spend?

What type of spender are you?

why-do-you-spendYou want to know something pretty cool? There are psychological reasons of why and how people spend money. We know people require food and shelter but they don’t require a mocha latte with a cinnamon bun, or do they? Some spend to prove their self worth and others for immediate gratification. Some use credit cards because it doesn’t feel like they’re using cash. Here are different types of spenders. See if you match one of the types.

  • THE COMPETITIVE SPENDER – Is aggressively trying to establish and maintain status by keeping up with friends. Constantly comparing yourself to your neighbor and spending money on items to be better than them is dangerous. The truth is, your neighbors are probably spending so much money because they are trying to keep up with you. Before overspending, really think through the real reason why you are purchasing an item. Does it really make you a better person?
  • COMPULSIVE SPENDER – Is attempting to alleviate a sense of emptiness by binge shopping and frivolous spending. Some people see something and want it immediately, regardless of the money it costs. They don’t have patience and buy it without having the cash available at that time to make the purchase which leads them to using their credit card. Before purchasing something, think. Do you really NEED that item? If so, do I have the money to pay for it now versus than later? Wait for at least two weeks before you make the purchase. You’ll find that over time, you don’t really need that item and your urge to get it will fade.
  • CO-DEPENDENT SPENDER – Is trying to create dependency in others by showering them with perceived necessities. many people purchase things to compensate for feeling guilty. For example, they might not spend enough time with their children and they make it up by buying them gifts. It’s much better if you work on why you are feeling guilty rather than to cover feelings up by purchasing unnecessary gifts.
  • NARCISSISTIC SPENDER – Is attempting to overcome feelings of inner inferiority by spending to look good. you make purchases with the belief that they will make your life much better. Let’s face it, it will give you pleasure for a couple of hours or days but after that, the effect diminishes and you’ll find yourself spending money on something else that will make you happy. It’s a never-ending cycle unless you take action and stop.
  • REVENGE SPENDER – This usually occurs in relationships where one person exacts punishment on another by spending their money. They are intentionally trying hurt their partners financials situation in order to be noticed or to get back at them.

Do you have a gambling problem?

Young Adult with a Gambling ProblemThis is a serious problem and you need to find out. Do you do any of the following?

  • Gamble in secret. You might gamble in secret or lie about how much you gamble, feeling others won’t understand or hoping that you will surprise them with a big win.
  • Have trouble controlling your gambling. Once you start gambling, can you walk away? Or, do you feel the need to gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar?
  • Gamble even when you don’t have the money. You may gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar, and then move on to money you don’t have. You may even end up borrowing, selling or stealing to get gambling money.
  • Family and friends are worried about you. If friends and family are worried, listen to them carefully. Take a hard look at how gambling is affecting your life. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
  • Ever had a fight with a loved one about gambling? If yes, you’re probably in more trouble than you know.
  • Buying lottery cards is a form of gambling. If you are looking for the “big score” and find yourself spending money that should be used to pay your bills, then something’s not right.

Are You a Problem Gambler? (Assessment answer “yes” or “no”)

  1. Do you lose time from work due to gambling?
  2. Is gambling having a negative effect on your home life?
  3. Is gambling affecting your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Do you ever gamble to get money to pay debts or solve financial difficulties?
  6. Does gambling negatively affect your productivity or ambition?
  7. After losing, do you feel an urge to “get back in the action”?
  8. After winning, do you feel an urge to try and win more?
  9. Do you ever gamble until your last dollar is gone?
  10. Have you ever borrowed to pay for your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Do you keep a gambling fund separate from other money?
  13. Does gambling make you careless with respects to the welfare of you or your family?
  14. Do you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  15. Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?

If you answered “yes” to seven or more of these questions, you may have a gambling addiction.

Don’t feel like you are alone. It’s never too late to make changes and get back on track. Contact (800) 522-4700 a 24-Hour Confidential National Helpline supported by the National Council on Problem Gambling or go to http://www.ncpgambling.org/state/texas/ for help.