I want to introduce you to the intuitive spender…
But before I do, I want you to meet the intuitive eater (she’s the intuitive spender’s cousin.)
The intuitive eater
The intuitive eater is someone who’s slender and is in good shape. She’s able to maintain her physique because she eats when she’s feeling hungry and stops when she’s full. She doesn’t believe in dieting and enjoys having a banana split once and a while — without feeling guilty.
Now that you’ve met the intuitive eater say “hello” to the intuitive spender.
The intuitive spender
Just like his cousin, the intuitive spender is in excellent “financial” shape — he’s debt free, pre-saved for his vacation to Italy, and his retirement savings are on track.
The amazing thing is that he (the intuitive spender) doesn’t believe in budgeting. He views being restrictive as “silly.” That’s because he has an innate sense of what he can spend and not spend his money on without having to check in with a budget.
The intuitive spender can tell the difference between his needs and wants. And even when he sees a “want” — like the latest designed Salvatore Ferragamo silk tie — he feels it and tries it on. He’s not afraid of a moment of weakness that’ll make him buy it. Nope, if he really likes it and has the money available, then he’ll buy it. No guilt attached. And if he doesn’t have the money — it’s no biggie — because he’ll save up and buy it later. The intuitive spender is happy with what he purchases and never get’s buyers remorse.
The bottom line: The intuitive spender acts normal and isn’t extreme with his finances. Adiós budgeting.
The differences between the intuitive spender and eater
Even though the intuitive eater and intuitive spender are cousins — and are similar — they are different in one distinct way.
The intuitive eater has a built-in hunger/full gauge. In other words, there are internal cues for hunger and fullness — tummy rumbling and feeling satisfied. For example: Think about a nursing baby. When their hungry, they cry and cry until you feed them. And when a baby is full, you can’t feed them another ounce — no matter how much you try. The cues are all built-in.
On the other hand, the intuitive spender isn’t born with internal cues of how much they can spend. Nobody comes out of the womb knowing the costs of pampers and pacifiers.
And because we don’t come into this world with budget spreadsheets preprogrammed in our brains, to become an intuitive spender you have to build your financial intuition and learn when you should buy and when you should save up. In other words, you need to master to differentiate between your needs and wants.
Why budgeting doesn’t work
Both dieting and budgeting can be exciting in the beginning stages. It’s equally exhilarating to moving over your belt buckle one notch as it is seeing your visa bill get smaller.
But unfortunately, when the newness of the diet/budget wares off, the feeling of restriction kicks in. All of a sudden, you can’t picture yourself being so rigid with your food or money for the rest of your life. You start to feel tight and claustrophobic. The next thing you know, out of frustration, you’ve polished off a tub of Hagen-Daas, and you’re cookin’ it down the highway to go shop at Saks. AKA: You’ve fallen off the wagon — and you’re not getting back on anytime soon.
And that’s normal. People aren’t built to be artificially restricted for long periods of time.
The intuitive spender never thinks of a budget as something that he’s going to do forever. Instead, he views budgeting as a tool to learn his spending cues that’ll eventually lead to becoming money smart without any external controls. In other words, the intuitive spender view budgeting is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
And that paradigm mindset shift — to view budgeting as a means to an end — is the difference between forcing yourself to budget (which doesn’t work well) and looking forward to becoming an intuitive spender.
FYI: Not all budgets lead you to become an intuitive spender — in fact, most don’t. But I’m not going to get into that here because that’s a whole article unto itself.
The goal of this article isn’t a how-to guide, but instead to introduce you the intuitive spender — a novel state-of-being that’s very rarely written or discussed in the financial world.
Most people believe that they needed to stick to a budget — forever.
Now you know better.
The takeaway: To become an intuitive spender, you need to stop believing in budgets and start believing in yourself.
Q’s for you…
Q1: What resonates about becoming an intuitive spender to you?
Q2: What do you think the benefits of being an intuitive spender would be to you and your family.
Let me know in the comments below…