Can you spend hours and hours at the mall, just looking, while hardly making a purchase? Or when you go to the mall, do you try to park, get in, and get out as quickly as possible?
Whether we like it or not, we all have to shop at some point. It's good to be aware of your money mindset so you can rein in your natural budget busters.
Which kind of shopper do you most identify with?
The Bargain Shopper
Coupons. Discount books and online codes. Store sales. The Bargain Shopper hunts down deals with the intensity of a rabid raccoon ransacking an unguarded trashcan. And that’s a good thing. If there’s one thing you can count on with The Bargain Shopper, it’s the fact that she’ll absolutely find the lowest price in town—or, if she can find it on the internet, in the entire world.
You want to buy a new 42-inch LCD TV. So what do you do? You buy a few consumer magazines. You visit 14 different websites that offer television reviews. You spend five months researching every brand and every model of 42-inch LCD televisions. Based on that information, you might make a decision. Or you might wait until next year’s models come out . . . because, after all, once you make the purchase, you can’t research TVs anymore. And what kind of life is that?
The Impulse Buyer
Ooh, that sure is a pretty lamp over there. You know where that lamp would look nice? On the end table next to your bed. Such a pretty lamp. So cute. Sure, it’s $200, but you never spend that much money on lamps, and when will you ever see another lamp that cute again? So you know what to do . . . buy it! Right now. Buy it! This will be the best, most sensible purchase you’ve ever made. Until tomorrow, when you wake up and realize you have $15,000 in debt and just spent $200 on a lamp.
To The Negotiator, no price is set in stone. Everything is up for negotiation. “That’s not good enough!” is The Negotiator’s mantra. Their sole purpose in life is to win the battle with every single salesperson they encounter. Or at least it seems that way, because they approach every negotiation like Drago fighting Rocky in Rocky IV. “I will break you,” he said. And, well, he lost the fight, so that’s a terrible example.
You buy everything, and we mean everything, from the same store. You’ve got 14 different discount and membership cards of varying sizes for that one store. There’s the one for your wallet, your key chain, your iPhone, your purse, your back pocket—and don’t forget the one you customized into an earring for emergencies. When you enter that store, you’re greeted like Norm from Cheers. Everyone there knows your name.
The Man on a Mission
You have one objective: to go to the store and buy a new computer monitor. Your record for driving to the mall, buying one item, and returning home is 27 minutes and 42 seconds. Each time you go to the mall, your goal is to break that record. When The Man on a Mission shops, he’s like a laser-guided missile seeking out a target to destroy. If you’re shopping alongside him, please don’t stop to browse the shoe section. That’s a terrible mistake.
The EveryDollar budget tool helps all types of shoppers stay on track with their budgets throughout the month. While you're out shopping throughout the holidays, you can even update your transactions with the iOS app! Learn more about this tool now.