Are You a Spender or a Saver?

 

Cut off the ends of a plastic hanger to make two bag clips.

Cut off the ends of a plastic hangar to make two bag clips.

Upon checking out at a local discount clothing store (euphemism for the dreaded Wal-Mart) the cashier mentioned what she does with the plastic hanger pants are clipped to for display purposes.

She cuts off each clip from the plastic hanger, smooths some rough edges and ends up with two free food bag clips.  This immediately appealed to me!  Being on the road as we are, my limited tool selection required me to cut through the plastic hanger using a carpet knife.  We now have six such clips in the kitchen and they work great.

Hanger clip copy

The above exercise creates two bag clips at no extra charge, saving you several dollars vs. buying the more attractive and colorful bag clips from a retailer.  Clearly this will not immediately set anybody on the secure road to early retirement, but what it exemplifies is a mental attitude toward saving.  If this method of getting two bag clips appeals to you, then you may be a saver by nature and likely have other quirky habits which also save money.  If on the other hand you immediately recoil and announce this as stupid, embarrassing or meaningless, possibly you are a spender.

Financial gurus can point out many ways of saving money and you may even try to follow their suggestions. But, to be a saver from a young age and unconsciously lean toward a life of saving is often tucked away in one’s DNA. The marketing media and life in general will continually work against you. If the local DJ awards some lucky listener with a $1,000 cash prize, after the winner stops shrieking in delight, the DJ will ask “What are you going to SPEND it on?”  Our society and the finances of each of us would be in better shape if the expected question from the DJ would be “Are you going to pay down your debt of fund your IRA with this money?”

Congratulations if you have been a saver from a young age.  Your financial life and early retirement goal will likely come easier for you.  If you are a spender, you have an additional hurdle to jump over, but certainly financial goals can still be reached.  Good luck to all of us hoping for an active, carefree retirement, and… pass the Honey Wheats.

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