Take our quiz to find out where your spending habits lie. By Lisa Templeton
A wise person once said: ‘We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.’ It has a glorious logic: you spend less, you have more money. That’s all good and well in, say, Timbuktu, but in our modern lives, consumerism is an integral part of life – including shopping for everything from shoes to houses. But what type of spender are you? Answer these questions to find out.
1. So you’ve spotted your dream shoes – your very expensive dream shoes. Do you…
a) Buy them straight away in your favourite colour, because life’s too short to walk away?
b) Decide they’re too expensive? Well, for now, because you’ll make a plan to budget and buy them next month.
c) Buy two pairs in different colours? The shoes are so amazing and the end of the month is only a few weeks away, after all.
d) Walk away? You simply can’t afford them. Sniff, sniff.
2. How do you grocery shop?
a) You don’t bother with a list, but you do try limit what you buy, although you can’t resist that new imported chocolate.
b) You have a list, but you allow a treat or two – some ice cream or a new dish – to slip into your trolley.
c ) You buy exactly what you fancy and trust you will have enough to pay for it.
d ) You only shop with a list and you like to stick to store or generic brands – why spend more than you have to?
3. You’re engaged and it’s time to think about your honeymoon. Do you…
a) Grab that Paris deal and bid your savings adieu? Who needs a car anyway?
b) Rent a basic cottage out in the country for a week and put money aside for your first home?
c) Whack a jaunt to Mauritius on your credit card (and a new bikini while you’re at it)?
d) Only go where you can afford, which means you don’t go anywhere?
4. You use a prepaid cellphone. How much do you spend a month?
a) You top up several times. So many friends, so much to talk about!
b) You limit calls to your prepaid budget and plan your top-ups in advance.
c) You honestly don’t know – as long as there’s enough credit to make a call, it doesn’t matter.
d) You’re an SMS junkie. If people want to chat, they can phone you, right?
5. What’s your daily coffee habit?
a) If I get a whiff of coffee, I can’t resist a cup – and a read of a magazine.
b) I like decent coffee and I keep my own supply at work. It tastes as good and costs far less.
c) Takeaway coffee was designed for me. And maybe a muffin too!
d) I don’t touch the stuff – do you know how much it adds up to?
You’re a fun lover You enjoy life and don’t want money worries holding you back. An impulsive shopper is what you are. The downside is your spending can get you into trouble, and that can be stressful.
The solution Recognising how you spend money is the first step. Now, you’ll have to be disciplined. Think twice before you impulse buy and maybe consider consulting with a financial planner. Clever budgeting and having a good credit rating are key, so pay up all your accounts on time.
You’re a smart spender You’re pretty good at distinguishing between needs and wants, and mostly stick to what you need. This doesn’t mean you don’t like the good stuff, you just make sure you can afford it.
The solution You keep an eye on the long-term effect of your spending, you’ll only spend if you have enough cash and your credit is managed well. You are probably in great financial shape with this attitude. Keep it up! You’ll achieve your future financial goals in no time.
You’re an ostrich spender Your head is in the sand! Your account contains less than you thought, but where did it all go? Your spending philosophy is usually ‘buy today and hope to have money tomorrow’.
The solution It is very easy to overspend. And odds are, you have little to no savings. It would be worth your while to keep a budget for three months to find where you’re blowing all your hard-earned cash. Save for large purchases and be disciplined in paying your accounts.
You’re a squirrel The idea of spending money makes you nervous and you would much rather have it stockpiled in the bank than spend it. You can tell your wants from needs – and you keep your needs modest.
The solution Because you’re conservative and careful with your money, you’re no doubt on track to retire in comfort, but you also need to have some fun. If necessary, budget in a ‘fun fund’ or save for a getaway, but make sure you have financial security and a life.