Top 5 Types of $penders

The Top 5 Types of $penders that make up the landscape for millennial and generation Z parent’s mindset of financial saving and spending.

Financial Tip Friday is brought to you in partnership with the 1st National Bank of Dennison. 

A “Treat-Yourself” Spender

Free spirited and impromptu spender who sees something and immediately thinks it’s a good idea to have.

  • What they buy?
      • Purchases smaller things that are not truly needed on impulse for yourself.
      • Gifting their friend a coffee, seeing a cute plant in the window, buying a snack at the gas station, picking up a cool looking mug or cup…
  • What happens to money?
      • It adds up- all of the extra small purchases dent your savings.
  • What to do?
    • At the end of the day, look back on what you spent on small spontaneous purchases, transfer what you spent into your savings (if you can).  Practice creates habit and if this is done nightly one may think about what they are spending extra money on during the day.

A “Karen” Spender

Outlined and prepared spender who has a budget (with savings included) and reasons for the budget.

  • What they buy?
      • Purchases what is necessary.  No frills or thrills.
  • What happens to money?
      • Money is tracked, spent and saved but they may be missing on some fun.
  • What to do?
    • Add a line item in the budget for “experiences.”  Fun may be a trivial word for Karen Spenders, so having an educational or learning experience such as spending money on traveling to a museum, musical concert, sporting event or historic site would help round out planning.

A “For Show” Spender

Status is extremely important and how you are perceived is crucial.  Keeping up with the latest styles and newest releases are how you spend.

  • What they buy?
      • Purchases the latest technology, new shoes, coats, designer sunglasses, lease new car, jewelry, bougie restaurants
  • What happens to money?
      • Money is spent in large quantities quickly.  As money comes in, it is immediately spent.
  • What to do?
    • PAUSE the spending for 1 day.  Delaying that urge for instant gratification may give time to see if that latest item is really needed.  Instead of using all of your income for show and status, put some of it in a savings account before spending.

A “Good Friend” Spender

Being generous and selfless spender enjoys purchasing gifts for others and helping.  Continuing to making friends happy and surprise them with generosity bring joy.

  • What they buy?
      • Purchases small gifts, meals, beverages, donating to various charities and buying every girl scout cookie on the block
  • What happens to money?
      • Money is being spread thin leaving not much in savings for the “Good Friend” spender.
  • What to do?

Rotate whom you buy gifts for and set a limit for how much to spend on gifts.  Instead of buying someone lunch, maybe only a coffee.  Have a discussion with friends and explain how much you enjoy buying gifts but perhaps create a challenge where you can only gift each other $100 worth of surprises per 6 months.


A “Penny Pincher” Spender

The penny pincher legit pinches their money, places it in a savings and does not want to spend any of it.

  • What they buy?
      • Investments like Stocks, CDs, Money Markets.  They will keep using the same pair of running shoes they’ve had since they were 18 or not get a new car until it will not roll anymore.
  • What happens to money?
      • Money is being saved and growing as nerves about spending any of it grows too.
  • What to do?
    • Speak with an investor or banker about what are appropriate savings plans (retirement, kid’s college 529 plans etc.) then set clear goals on future objectives.  Do the math with a financial calculator and see how much to keep in savings and how much can be applied to home improvement projects, paying off the mortgage, vacations, or creating scholarship or trust fund.

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