The 5 Types of Overspenders: Are you one of them?

There are many reasons for one to overspend – and most of the time, they are emotional and not cognitive. Even if your better judgment goes the other way, our emotions are strong and powerful enough to persuade the mind and make the purchase. In order to avoid overspending and enable ourselves to make sound financial decisions, it is important to be wary of the different traps that lead us to overspend.

Love and belongingness. If you have problemsmaking connections and fostering meaningful relationships, you may tend to buy things to meet the feeling of being loved.
Fun and play. If you work too much, making big purchases can become a substitute for your idea of fun in your life. You can take expensive vacations or get the latest gadgets to compensate for feelings of stress.

Personal power.Do you feel like you have no control over your life? We sometimes look at spending as a way to make things better, to feel like we still have control. Sometimes, we also tend to purchase to prove a point, or to get back at someone.

The idea of Freedom.Sometimes, we are left in situations where we feel trapped or unable to move. It could be through work, family, or relationships. As such, some of us turn to spending as a way to feel that we can make decisions on our own.

Sadness. People who aresad are said to spend 30% more than those in other chronic emotional states. Spending can sometimes feel like a way to fill up the emptiness that people feel.

The 5 Types of Overspenders

Being aware of the emotional causes of overspending, let us see how these factor in when it comes to the 5 different types of overspenders:

  • Image spenders spend their money in highly visible ways. This is usually characterized by always picking up the tab, driving a flashy car, and buying designer brands, then this could be you. Image spenders long for preferential treatment – as they feel that looking successful means that he or she is indeed successful.


  • Bargain-hunting spenders’ motto is about “getting the deal.” This type of spenders is satisfied by getting the best deal while talking the seller down. It’s all about successful negotiation.
  • Compulsive shoppers use shopping as a way to escape unwanted negative feelings. They usually have purchased items that end up being unused, with the tags still on them. Compulsive shoppers are also left thinking hard about how a purchase will make a big impact on their life.


  • Co-dependent spenders are those who spend to win acceptance, approval, or even love at any cost. You could rationalize the purchase because it’s not for you, but for another person or family member. Also, co-dependent spenders usually justify theirbehavior because they want to help others.
  • Bulimic spenders are usually high earning individuals. There are successful people who get rid of their money through spending and until they are broke, because this is what they are comfortable with.


How to Improve your Spending Habits

If you see yourself in any of the above mentioned behaviours, then there is good news: You can still change:

  • Be aware of when the emotional triggers will arise. Be conscious in toning down the urge to spend to overcome such emotions.


  • Be excited about the change you are making. It’s empowering to know what you are capable of accomplishing once you have control over your spending
  • Always use cash when you are making a purchase. Apart from ensuring that you are spending wisely, seeing the money leave your wallets and pockets could be psychologically effective against overspending. Furthermore, you are only spending the money that you have.


  • Set your sights forward, not behind. Try to visualize how you would feel if you have complete control over your spending. Do not look back and dwell on mistakes you have made before, as this could again, be another emotional trigger than can result in unnecessary purchases.
  • Start the change from within. Because you overspend based on emotional triggers, then the change should also be emotional. Actively link the feeling of controlling your spending to positive feelings to reinforce your actions.