As I struggle to resist the temptation to snag a snack from the vending machine during my ingredient month, I began thinking about how different personalities chose what to eat at vending machine or even at a restaurant. This led me to identify five distinct purchasing personalities. The purchase decision at a vending machine or a restaurant serves as concrete situation to help us think about our own purchase personality. We all can probably be any one of these at different times and in different situations, but the question is what personality are you most of the time.
The Lavisher – This is the person who figures that I am here and spending money so I might as well seize the day and get the best most decadent choice available. This is the person who buys the king size Snickers for $1.25, or the Surf and Turf.
The Quality Inspector – This is the person who is willing to pay a little more to get the best quality or the best experience. They buy the bag of trail mix from the vending machine, because it is the healthiest choice. They ask the wait staff what the house recommends so that they can sample the most popular dish or a beautiful bedroom set that would survive a bombing so that they can hand it down to their children.
The Bargaineer – This is the person who always tries to get the cheapest deal. This is the person who chooses not based on what they might like the best, but gauges what they will like the best based on how much of a bargain it is. This is the person who buys the pop-tarts for $0.80, because they get two. They get the huge combo platter because it has the most food.
The Middle Man – This is the person who tries to find a middle ground between their preference, quality, and a bargain. They end up with the Reese’s Cups for $0.75 or the special at a restaurant because it is a little cheaper yet still interesting.
The Refrainer – This is the personality that figures they can save the most money by not partaking. They can’t justify paying 200% mark up on an item when they can get 10 for the price of 4 at Sam’s Club. Instead of getting a dinner they get water, share an appetizer, and wait to have people’s leftovers.
I am definitely a Bargaineer. So much so that I can often over think even a small purchase and rob myself of actually enjoying the situation and living in the moment. I am almost never The Lavisher, but I am starting to become more of a Quality Inspector in certain situations. I am married to Quality Inspector and I have really come to appreciate the Rockette’s personality and she mine. It helps create a formidable team. I know that I am much more joyful and willing to spend money on great experiences and products and she is willing to curb some spending in order to focus on bigger more important goals.
Giving a little thought to your own purchase personality can go a long way towards understanding, changing, and controlling your spending. So what type of purchase personality are you? Do you have your own special category?