Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Saving By Paying Attention – Impulsers, Part 1 of 4

Impulse Buyer

I have friends, lets call them Impulsers (yes, I made this term up), that are constantly driving to the store to get a snack, pop or ice cream or _________ (insert convenience item on the line to the left).

Typically the Impulsers group are non-financial people that don’t understand (or were never taught) finances so they never picked up even the most basic money skills.  They usually buying everything on impulse, whenever they want it, including big ticket items like cars and boats.

The Impulsers typically live paycheck to paycheck, or worse, go into debt spiral!  Money is like air to them; they breathe it in (salary/wage income) and breathe it out (consumer items and non-appreciating assets) and then some…

Impulsers are not bad people per say, but a little naïve about money management!  So what do you to do if you have a close friend that is bad with money like the Impulsers?

2 Ways to overcome Impulsers’ weaknesses:

  • Budgeting!  Yep, the “Impulsers” have the most to gain by using a budget versus any other group! Ironically, there is an excellent personal finance blog out there called that actually is really cool.  So cool, that I believe the Impulser’s group would appreciate it and perhaps get hooked on it.  They might start to reading it on a daily basis.  This would be a win-win for anyone in the Impulsers group, because they would derive entertainment value out of the website, while at the same time learning a thing to 2 about budgeting!  J.Money even has a special Millionaire Club group, that is basically a pledge of things to do to try to reach that elusive Millionaire level status.  This hands down is the coolest blog about budgeting you will ever find!
  • What if they don’t want to do read a blog? Well, that brings me to what I’m trying to do currently with a friend.  First, we are close… almost brothers, so that gives me a little extra wiggle room, versus a friend you might have know for only the last couple of years.  What I’m going to do is have my friend and I do the budget together!  You might be wondering what am I going to use as the carrot?  Well, my plan is to use the old “I need help” and “Let’s try this out as a team” approach.  The reason for this approach is that your friend doesn’t believe that he/she has a problem.  But, like most good friends, if you come to them asking for help by doing something together, it might have a chance!  You’ll have to spend some time creating the program in addition to the work creating budgeting program.  But if you do it right, and have periodic meetings (monthly or maybe quarterly) somewhere fun (maybe a bar?) it might work!  During these meeting times, voice your concerns to your friend about your financial goals and talk about your expenses and how you plan on controlling them.  You might be able to even animate certain expenses.  By animating certain expenses, it will give it a face!  That will enable you and your friend to recognize the face of the enemy and try to conquer it by keeping it contained (via the budget)! He/she should be able to pickup your concerns and how they relate to him/her.

Also make sure you really do it all out (afterall it’s really a stealth mentoring thing). If you don’t follow through with your budget, how can you expect your friend to either?  I think it might be fun, actually!  Perhaps another win-win scenario.

If you have any additions or any questions about my suggestions please jump in and post a comment.  The water is warm and friendly here are Money Reasons!


13 Responses to Saving By Paying Attention – Impulsers, Part 1 of 4

  1. You know, I think I’m an impulser. Often, I spend weeks researching a product, but then I give up because I know I’ll never have enough research to satisfy myself, and then I just buy what I like when I’m passing the store, or something.

  2. @WellHeeledBlog

    You sounds like me 🙂

    I do the same thing, I’ll research a production including reading the “Consumer Reports”, then finally just break down and buy what’s at the store when I’m there. Telling myself “I think this had a good review”…

    My friends that have that impulse buying problems are constantly going to the store to pick up something that they forgot or suddenly want. Sometimes, they’ll make 4 or more trips in 1 day (wild huh)…

  3. MoneyReasons. I use to be an impulser. But I’m less of that now. By looking at our financial standings and account balances daily, it just makes you not want to spend on big ticket items just yet. Because if we do, the balances will decrease tremendously overnight while it took us so long to build it up.

    I know many around me are impulsers. And I know they tend to live paycheck to paycheck. I learned that ever since I kept my impulses under control, I no longer live paycheck to paycheck.

    Thanks for this topic. I hope you can get your friend to stray away from his impulse personality by budgeting together.
    .-= moneyhoneysf´s last blog ..Deadly Sin: Gambling Addiction =-.

  4. @MoneyHoney

    Hi, thanks for the great comment! I’m glad you had a great time in Vegas!!!

    It’s good to know that I’m not alone in this struggle in dealing with close impulsive friends!

    I think it is a phase that we all go through to some degree, but it seems like some never want to get out of it for one reason or another.

    As for my friend, I’ll probably post an article on him sometime later after we have had some success with the budgeting attempt.

    Thanks for stopping by, keep up the great work on your blog!

  5. Sometimes money Impulsers are bad people. A man who goes out and blow money and his children go to school in rags is in my book a bad person.

  6. @LeanLifeCoach

    You identified exactly what I’m hoping to accomplish! My friend is close enough to me that I feel I can open up my finances after we start the program. My idea is to complain about not saving enough to meet my savings goal per month or something similar. It’s a bit tricky, but once he sees how I live he might decide to mimic my style.

    @Daddy Paul

    Yeah, I’ve seen rich (or at least high income) people do that too. Usually they are very selfish and only care about themselves… Sad huh! I don’t have any friends like those types of people!

  7. I think a lot of people start off as impulsers, when they’re young. Who doesn’t spend most of their money at 18/19/20.

    The early 20s is when you start to shake out who is thinking about the long term and who is still living from paycheck to paycheck and buying whatever takes their fancy.

    If someone is still doing that at 30 or so, you’re really saving a life if you can persuade them to change before it’s too late.
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Playing chicken with house prices =-.

    • @Monevator

      Youth is one reason, and if they quickly outgrow this phase and don’t get into debt too deeply, it’s okay.

      I’ve also seen the case where one spouse is a spendthrift and buys without asking their mate. Eventually you have both members of the couple in a free fall spending habit.

      Other times, a person may give up on the goal of accumulating money, and just give in to theirl desires.

      Some never learn money management, and see other people that they think are cool with blink, so they go out and buy the blink so they can feel good too.

      Impulse buying is the largest hurdle to the path of frugality (and living within one’s means). The “Impulse Buyers” group needs to realize that buying those brand of shoes, or the iphone (when the can’t afford it) isn’t really going to change who they are!

      Budgeting can go a long, long way to help them overcome their impulse buying habit (or should I say addiction).

      I hope I’m able to help my friend. He was one who had a spouse that was a spender, but they got divorced but the habit has stuck with him. I’m hoping to guide him back toward the financially responsible path.

  8. Yeap! I totally relate. It’s so hard to get out of being an impulser but it’s do-able with persistence. And a treat here and there. Doing it gradually is also the key otherwise it’ll just be like bad dieting! Helpful to none!