Take the quiz and find out if you’re a spender or a saver!
On a trip to the grocery store you:
- Have a meal plan in your hand. You only get the items on your list and buy generic brands whenever you can.
- Go to the store with a loose idea of what you’ll make for dinner and get distracted by sale items.
Acorn squash?? You’ve always wanted to try that. You have no idea how to cook it or what exactly you’ll do with it, but you saw it on Iron Chef and it looked amazing!
You need a bar of soap, which is right by the makeup aisle so you take a little stroll. Whoa— there are two bottles of nail polish you must have. They are only $4 each, a bargain!
When you get home you realize you bought an acorn squash 3 weeks ago and it’s rotting in your produce drawer. That nail polish? Almost identical to two colors you already have.
When you go to dinner with friends, you:
- Check prices and try to stay within your weekly budget. You only allow yourself to order one cocktail because they’re $12 and you could buy a whole bottle of wine at Trader Joe’s with that money!
- Order whatever you want- you only live once! You earned this, you deserve it. Sure you did the same thing last weekend and have nothing in your fridge but it’s the weekend!
Who cares if the special is $40 and you’re not even sure that quail egg amuse bouche with a basil chiffonade and bison paupiette are even food items? Your server says they only have a few left and if you don’t hurry, you are going to miss out!
You’ll take that and another $15 appletini, please.
When watching television, you:
- Have possibly called a 1-800 number and ordered something because it’s “such a great deal!” Do you need 300 pieces of food storage containers? Do you have space for them in your cabinets?
- You don’t know and don’t care! You’re only paying for 50 pieces and the rest are FREE!!! That’s 250 food containers for zero dollars- what a steal! Laugh at the ridiculous quantities offered. Who in the world needs 300 of anything??
If you answered with 1′s— we should never, EVER go shopping together. Because, y’all— I’m a spender.
I get distracted in grocery stores, don’t look at prices as often as I should and buy nail polish even though I end up going to a nail salon to get my nails painted for $6– my five-year-old can paint nails better than I can.
I want to be a saver and if you do, here are a few tips that you may find helpful:
- Never go to the grocery store hungry— everything looks delicious.
- Make a meal plan once a week and a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. Google “meal plans,” there are a countless number of websites that offer meal plans for little to no charge— including a grocery list.
One of my favorite sites is The Fresh 20 . They offer weekly meal plans based on your diet. Gluten-free? Paleo? Vegetarian? No problem. There is a list of pantry staples and every week you’ll buy 20 fresh ingredients. They even save time by making meal prep simpler— cook two pounds of ground beef then divide it for two separate meals, etc.
- Be accountable.
My husband is a saver so he is in charge of our weekly budget. We moved from me swiping my debit card at the grocery store to a cash system. I have $200 cash to buy groceries for the week. Knowing how much I can spend helps me stay focused and away from the makeup aisle. And if I have money left over at the end of the week, I might just get my nails done and order an extra cocktail at dinner.
If you don’t have a significant other, talk to a close friend about your finances and ask them to help you to think through purchases before spending freely. Just knowing someone else is aware of your spending may be enough for you to get focused.
Living within a budget isn’t as easy as it often sounds. But think how much better you’ll feel when you aren’t shoving 300 pieces of plastic containers into cabinets, drawers, the pantry, the laundry room, your son’s closet, the guest bathroom and underneath your bed!