'People have two things to spend; time and money, and they would much
rather spend their money. So much so, they routinely engage in the
most common form of overspending; paying too much for things. How does
this happen, you might wonder? Those people pay to much for things
because they failed to comparison shop,' concluded the nonprofit
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), a San Diego based
group helping consumers become better spenders, regular savers and
wise users of credit. The other type of overspender is someone who
spends beyond, sometimes way beyond, their income and or ability to
'If you are hearing 'spend, spend, spend' when your money talks, you
too may be one of those consumers who later discover they have nothing
to show for all of their hard years of working, or worse, find
themselves in a nightmare of debt instead of living the American
dream,' says ICFE executive director, Paul S. Richard, a registered
financial consultant (RFC), who was in bankruptcy at court at age 25,
due to overspending with charge cards.
To help determine what type of overspender you might be, here is a
short evaluation to help. The following statements are about spending
techniques. There are five responses to select from which indicate the
degree of your likeness to each statement. Just mark the number in the
space provided. Should a statement not apply to your situation, skip
it and adjust the scoring accordingly which follows afterwards.
1. Totally like me
2. A lot like me
3. Equally like and unlike me
4. A little like me
5. Not like me at all
1. ____ I always live within my income range.
2. ____ Each income period, I set aside at least ten percent for
savings and investments
My finances are managed according to a written spending-plan .
4. ____ All household and grocery spending is planned in advance and
done with a list.
5. ____ I rarely make more than one trip a-week to the grocery store.
6. ____ Grocery and other coupons and rebate offers are utilized
7. ____ Comparison shopping is something I/we do for practically every
purchase, large or small.
8. ____ I have no revolving debt carried on credit or charge cards.
9. ____ I have not had an overdraft of my checking account nor paid
late fees on a credit card.
10.____I regularly contribute to an employer sponsored retirement
plan, IRA or a my own 401k plan.
Scoring Your Spending
VERY GOOD. Time to share your good
habits and teach family members how you do it.
16-20 Pretty Good. Concentrate on
improving a few areas for even greater savings.
21-35 Average. Devoting an hour to
improving spending could save you an additional 10-15 percent.
36-40 Lousy. Immediate changes
required, now, to avoid more overspending and a financial disaster.
41-50 It Stinks! Time to contact a
credit and debt counselor.
For information about Mending Spending and help with how to set up and
implement a spending-plan, visit: www.financial-education-icfe.org. To receive the same
information by mail, please send $1 and a self-addressed, 60 cent
stamped envelope to:
ICFE Money Helps
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by
the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
designation and founder of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, CO.)
The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending
practices, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an
award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped
millions of people through its financial continuing education courses programs
and resources. In addition to eight Certification courses covering identity
theft, credit files, credit repair and credit scoring, among others, it also
publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated
annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning
Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE is a partner
with the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California
Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves and
Military Saves, both offshoots of America Saves.
The ICFE is also an
on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured
in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips
are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
The ICFE helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about
the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and
implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and
how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G
library, a free eNews service, and an online resource center for students,
parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools in the ICFE Book