Spender vs. Saver

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I have always been a “saver” and like to see positive cashflow at the end of each month. The only way to do this is to have a good idea of how much money you have coming in and going out. At the start of each month, I have a spending limit. I know that if I spend more than the limit, there will be negative cashflow for the month. Each month the spending limit resets. If there is something I need to buy and the limit has been reached, I force myself to wait until the start of the next month. It can test your patience having to wait to buy something you need to finish a project when you have the money. I put most of my purchases on a credit card, which I pay off each month. The monthly credit card bill is what I use as a gauge for my spending limit. I will periodically go online and check the monthly balance to see how close I am to my limit. This helps me decide if I can buy an item now, or if I need to wait until the next month.

In contrast, I live with someone who is a “spender” addicted to shopping on Amazon. An Amazon Prime account offers free shipping on most items. This makes it very easy to place small orders whenever you want without being concerned about shipping costs. The problem is that these small orders can add up to a big number each month. My partner uses a debit card, with each transaction coming out of a savings account. A savings account that doesn’t have a good way to see the total spending during the month. I explained how a credit card would let them see how much they were spending on Amazon each month. But the idea of paying off a credit card balance each month was confusing. The other issue is that if you are retired or don’t have a job to show an annual income, your credit application will most likely be denied. Tracking your spending on paper or a spread sheet is an option that most people will fail to keep up with. If you can, put all of your monthly spending on a credit card. Then come up with a number that represents your limit. This will make it a lot easier to control your spending habits. Some people like spending money and others enjoy seeing their savings grow.

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