Psychology of Spending

- Okay, good morning, everybody. My name is Melissa here with the Credit Union of Southern California. And I'm so happy to be spending my Saturday morning with all of you, I'm hope that you're feeling the same way. What a great topic to start today, our psychology of spending, especially as we're starting to enter the shopping season of the year. So just, you know, welcome, we're so glad you're here. As we are waiting for a couple more people to join through the waiting room, I would love to ask that those of you that are here already to, if you're open to, go ahead and put in the chat why you're here, what are you hoping to learn? What are you hoping to gain from this workshop? So go ahead and drop that in the chat there if you don't mind, and if you're willing to share, or you can share directly with me, Melissa Manny, CU SoCal, and I'd be happy to share anonymously for you. Okay, we have a couple coming in anonymously and I'm right there with you. One of them saying yes, shopping season is coming and I need to be smarter about how I'm using my money. I think I'm definitely in that budget with you. Thank you, Mary, for sharing that one. I want to learn how to be wiser with my budget. I think that's so key, right? We are so tempted to use these magical cards that are in our wallet, especially through the pandemic, a lot of places have gone cashless. And so it's not just about using the cash that's in your wallet. I can tell you I've had the same $40 in my wallet, probably for the past three or four months, because one, I don't go anywhere, and two, no one's accepting it when I do. Thank you, another comment is here. I'd like to understand why I spend so I can gain control. Oh my gosh, that is the magic key here. And so we are definitely going to hit some topics that'll make us be smarter consumers and definitely wiser spenders and hopefully better savers. So with that, let's go ahead and jump in here. So, you know, I think this is kind of the question I'm going to pose out to everybody is right, I think we just touched on this is when you make a purchase, we should be wondering why are we buying what we're buying? Psychologists have found that there's several forces that govern our consumer behavior, and that causes us to make the decisions that we do. And most of the time or some of the time, they're not necessarily rational or in our best interests. And so many people spend to the point that unfortunately they get into debt and they're unable to save money. So understanding why we buy what we buy can help us make smarter decisions in the future. And that's exactly why we're here today. Thanks, Roger, for also chiming in, I'm a financial coach and would like to know more about why people spend so much on necessary things. This will help me understand my clients more to better help them. Oh, I love Roger that you're coming to us for some insight on how you can help others, this is fantastic. So here's a quick self evaluation that I want everybody here just to kind of take a look at. The first question, what types of products and services do you enjoy spending money on? Again, you can answer this to yourself, you can make a note to yourself, you can share it with the group. We're all friends here. Why do you think you enjoy spending money on those purchases? And in what ways do you think you're a good spender? What habits would you like to change? And how do you think you can change them? So take a minute again, just look at these self evaluation questions and again share. I am an open book, so I definitely can share as much. The types of products and services I enjoy spending money on, I think I may use this as a crutch, but I love to spend money on other people. I'm not necessarily somebody that likes to shop for myself or buy myself gifts. And there's a slide in here that I think is almost made for me, why I like spending the money on them, cause I like to bring joy to people. But what I'm learning and it's a hard thing to do is it's not about what we buy for them, it's how we make them feel. In what ways do I think I'm a good spender? I'm a clearance rack person. My niece is 11 years old and she teases me all the time, cause soon as we walk into a store, whether it's for a birthday gift or a new pair of shoes, whatever it may be, she knows we always go to the clearance racks first. And she knows that why are we going to spend or pay full price for something that we can get on sale? So I think I'm a good spender that way, but again, I think I just need to stop the spending altogether. So I would love for anybody else to go ahead and add, yes, we have another one here. I need to control on buying gifts for other people. Absolutely, that is so true. Spend way too much money on my hobbies, which, during the pandemic kept me sane. I totally get that Mary, that is so true. However, sometimes if it helps our sanity, it's okay to splurge every once in a while. It's just being smart about it and making sure that there's a good balance between what we're spending and what we could potentially be saving. So I love, I think what I'm hearing, everybody that's here today is we're not alone. We are in this together. We're all struggling with the same things. And again, that's why we're here this morning. So let's talk about the role of advertising when it comes to the way in which we are spending, right? The goal for companies to advertise is to get us to buy something. And a common tactic advertisers use is to appeal to a certain fear or desire and claim that their product or service can provide the image or lifestyle that we want. So for example, commercials for baking products, right? We love those commercials, everything looks so great when they're baking. But frequently shows a happy, loving family, because that's what we desire, that's what we want. I don't know about you guys, but I think sometimes when I bake, my kitchen never looks that clean and somebody is always crying because they wanted to stir the batter more than the other one. So I love that that's we depict, but I think that's totally advertising. They want us to feel that we're going to have that exact same image. And so what can we do? How can we combat the advertising that we see? It's very hard to do that because not only was it only on TV and guess what, with streaming, a lot of those advertisements have gone away, but they're starting to creep back in. Any of us that have a smartphone and we're on any type of social media, we are looking at advertising, after every 30 second video, there's like a two minute advertising, you know, YouTube, it's everywhere. Especially then when we're driving around, we have advertising everywhere. Now it can be helpful for us when we are needing to make those decisions, but that's where we really need to think, what is it that they're trying to sell me? And is it something that I need or is it something that I want? And so as you encounter advertising moving forward after today, think about the validity of the images being presented and what is it that you will actually get from the product or service? We need to stop thinking about what they're trying to get us to see, but actually put our own image in those commercials, our own families, our own situations in those commercials, and find out if it's really something that could really benefit us. Let's think about some of well-known ads that we see all the time. Buying a new car or the weight loss commercials. They are trying to depict something that we feel that we want, we deserve that new car. It's shiny, it tells us all about the bells and whistles. When we see the weight loss commercials, yes, they're depicting that happy family lifestyle and eating well, and we all think, yes, yes, that's exactly what we want. That's what we need in our lives. And so we have to just really take a step back as a consumer and think about how valid are their claims. And again, does this make sense for me? And then the second question I'm going to ask you is does this make sense for me right now? Because I think that's where I struggle is there's times that yes, I probably am going to need that, but do I need it right now? And advertisers, some at times, they're getting really good if we're shopping on Amazon, if we're searching for a specific product or service, the next thing you know, all of our social media, all of our interaction with any type of advertising is definitely saying, reminding us of the product that we just searched for. Before I understood this, I was just telling myself very vulnerable right here, is, oh my gosh, they definitely knew that I needed a new washer and dryer. So I must need to buy a washer and dryer right now, cause somebody out there knows that I need this, well, the advertisers do. So we really just have to be really careful about how we are watching the ads, listening to ads. And just again, taking that step back and thinking, okay, is this something that I really need, or do I just want it? Another challenge that we have when it comes to spending money is the phrase keeping up with the Jones. Society in part defines success by what we look like and what we own. It's not surprising that people are tempted to buy things that will make them appear well off, especially when others around them seem to have so much more. And that's exactly what the definition of keeping up with the Joneses is. While it used to be the, the Joneses were the neighbors down the street or the neighbors right next door, it's now become more that it's the people that we see on TV, in movies, social media, right? We've got a whole group of people that are influencers who are getting paid to show off how great they have it and the products and services that they use in order to live that lifestyle. And again, so we just have to really think about, is this again, how real is this? And how will it really benefit me? And is it something that I absolutely need to purchase? So the question here, I'm going to pause for a second, feel free to drop in that chat. Have you ever felt the pressure to keep up with the Joneses? And if so, is there something that you don't mind sharing that you ended up buying or that you just wanted and you decided not to purchase? So I'm going to keep going, but in the meantime, go ahead and drop in that chat if you feel so inclined. You can't win if you try to keep up with the Joneses, I think that's the motto here. There's always going to be somebody that has more than what we have. It doesn't mean it's a bad idea to sometimes give in and buy those luxuries. But we really have to just be conscious about what we're purchasing and making sure that we can afford it. Because again, it goes back to that first slide that unfortunately the psychology takes over and we end up going into debt. So we really need to make sure that it's something that we can afford. If you don't have the cash to buy something right away, that is absolutely okay. Instead, start saving that money so that we don't have to put it on our credit card. So thank you for sharing. So somebody wanted a $30,000 car versus a $20,000 car, even on paper I could afford both. So I'm hoping that maybe you went with the $20,000 car because it made more sense for you in that situation. Now, again, it doesn't mean that if you bought the 30,000 car, that's bad, but I think those are the things that we're always tempted to do. I'm with that, honestly, with cars all the time, I love the car commercials and seeing all the latest and greatest gadgets. But I really just have to think what makes sense for me right now. And it doesn't mean I'm not going to be able to do it at some point, but I'm not going to go into debt more than I need to. So I ended up just starting to put some little extra money away, and then when it comes time, I don't feel that burden so much. So thanks for sharing. Yes, the $30,000 car, would've actually been bad in the long run, not considering all the expenses and fees we don't consider at the time. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing. That is so, so key, right? The $30,000 car, sure, maybe I can afford that payment right now, but with that, depending on the type of car, the maintenance to keep it up, and that's the regular maintenance. And then if something were to break, hopefully you have that extended warranty, car registration, gas, especially with gas prices right now. So I think those are all great things to consider that like, yeah, I can afford that payment, but especially when you make a big purchase, like a car, it's more than just the payment. So thank you so much for sharing. Let's start talking about where we're spending our money now. Oh, I see another comment here. A $2,500 handbag that I wanted forever, but honestly didn't need it right now. Oh, congratulations. Maya. I'm giving you a virtual high five. Yes, if we don't need it right now, then I am so proud of you for steering away from that. That doesn't mean that it can't come, but you just don't need it right now. And especially given the last 18 months where we really haven't been able to go anywhere. You wouldn't have been able to show off that beautiful handbag. So congratulations, but I'm excited for you when you do, when you're ready to make that purchase and it makes the most sense for you. So moving on to our spending habits. So every day we're faced with hundreds and hundreds of choices on what we're going to do. And so it's impossible to consciously think about all of them. And this is why we tend to adopt spending habits. For example, you're faced with the choice of buying your morning coffee at the gourmet coffee house, or getting the free, but maybe less tasty coffee at work. Sometimes you decide to go with the gourmet coffee and after a while, you don't even give it a second thought, it's just part of your routine to slip into that drive-through and get it. And you just even realize that that habit is costing you so much money. Same thing goes for buying lunch out, right, or sticking to the brands that we prefer. Even if the comparable ones are left less expensive. Sometimes we're just creatures of habit and we're always going to buy it the Glad trash bags, even though when I go to Target, I know that I can get the Up and Up brand, which are just as great, for like a dollar less. And sometimes it's just about changing that simple mindset that I think to myself sometimes, Melissa, it's only a dollar, like really just get the Glad. But I think in my mind, I have to tell myself, no that's such a bad habit just to keep giving in to little differences, because those little differences all will add up. And so now I consciously think about this all the time when I go into buy something. I'm a penny pincher, my family, my friends, they all know this. I'm always looking for the best deal. I can be in target, ready to purchase something, and I'm scanning it on the Amazon app to see if I can get it cheaper through Amazon or vice versa. I just want to know that I'm getting the best deal. And so that's just one of the habits that we need to break, and we do need to get into, is not just staying with the routine and what we've always done, but really looking at maybe some of the other options that are again, very comparable and could be less expensive. So another question, if you're willing to answer for me in this chat is what are some of your unexamined spending habits? Again, feel free to dump those in the chat. Again, you're not alone, we all have them. I will tell you going into the office now two to three times a week, I don't take my lunch in, but when I'm at home, I make my lunch every single day. But I'm creating a terrible habit that I just consciously think when I go into the office, I'm going to buy lunch. And so I mentally trying to prepare myself thinking it doesn't have to be that way, right? We need to start creating those better habits. If I can make my lunch everyday while I'm here, I can make my lunch every day, even though I'm not here. And so again, feel free to go ahead and drop those in there. Oh, Mary, we love it, the Starbucks venti green tea latte. I'm right with you, I love my Starbucks venti black tea lemonade. Again, it's habit. Sometimes I requested on a very cold day and I'm like, no, I wanted something warmer, but it just comes out of my mouth because I subconsciously think when I'm at Starbucks, that's exactly what I need to get. Spending habits, they're really, again, easy to get into, but not beneficial. So just think about us when we're at the gourmet coffee shops, AKA Starbucks, Coffee Bean, think about where that 3 or $4 drink every day could go. Where else could we be spending our money? And so just every once in a while, we need to really take a step back and examine our finances. Because when we take a step back to consciously examine our finances, that will help us break out of the habits that are bad for us, and it will help us start creating better habits. Make an effort, I'm going to challenge you to make an effort every day to keep track of your daily spending. And then at the end of the month, total it all at up. It's easy to do now with the mobile banking and online banking, we can kind of see it, but I will tell you, I still very strongly believe in what's called the power of the pen. When you write things down, it sticks with you more. I can very easily pull up the CU SoCal app and check my spending, but that just doesn't resonate with me. But when I actually copy from the online banking or my mobile banking to a pen and paper and I added all up, oh, let me tell you, that's like a shock to the heart right there. So definitely just challenge you to kind of keep track of your daily spending, see where you're spending money and find a place that maybe you would prefer your money to go. And just keep in mind that our wants can mimic our needs. We need to eat, a hundred percent, we need to drink, but we don't need to eat at restaurants every day or regularly. And that's okay, and I think that's where it goes back to my lunch example, is yes, I need to have lunch, but it doesn't mean I need to eat out. So think about all of those wants and needs, and that will help you determine exactly where you want your money to go. Laurie has the question here, how was this purchase supporting my long or short-term financials? I love that Lori, absolutely. That's genius right there, we're going to sign you up to be a co-host next time, is how is this supporting my short? And that just goes back to reminding us that we need to have short and long-term goals identified. When we don't have goals identified, it is easy for us to spend money whenever we want. But when we have those goals identified, it helps us redirect our energy. We have another comment that came in here, since the pandemic, I've had a habit of checking Target apps for any clearance items, probably that I don't need. I love that you're saying that, because that is going to lead us into impulse buying. It was almost like that that comment was staged there. So impulse buying, I think is probably one of the hardest things as a consumer to overcome, right? Again, think about the last impulse purchase that you make, and again, feel free to drop that in the chat, share it with all of us, we are all in the same boat you guys. We know that impulse buying isn't good for our wallet, but it is so hard to resist because finding something that we like unexpectedly and buying it gets us excited and we love feeling excited. And those stores, man, when we walk into a store, they are encouraging us to do that. Have you ever noticed when we go to the supermarket or the grocery store, what is at the checkout counters? The magazines, the soda, the candy, the gum. Those are perfect impulse buy examples. And then have you ever noticed that the things that we probably came in for, such as milk, bread, eggs, they're totally in the back of the store. They're making us walk through all of these potential impulse aisles and items to get to the things that we absolutely needed. So when we are shopping, again, super big challenge for everybody here is when we're shopping, create a list and stick to it. Research shows that the longer that a person stays in the store, the more likely we are to make impulse purchases. So create that list, stick to it, avoid the browsing. Oh my gosh, and if at all possible, and this is the tagline avoid taking those free samples, because those free samples, man, they get me every time at that Costco. I'm telling you, I'm like, oh, that tastes so good, and it ends up in my cart and it wasn't on my list, and it's so expensive, why should I even buy it? So again, even just trying on clothes when we are shopping, trying on clothes just to see how you look and talking to salespeople, that's hard to say no to. When we try something on and we like it, it then is going to be very hard for us to say no to it, especially if it's not something that we need. And then talking to a sales clerk, oh, they're going to talk us into everything. So we just have to be a little bit more careful when we're out doing our shopping to avoid impulse buying. Those of us with families, kids especially, try shopping alone if you can. I am sure I'm not the only one that when we go to the grocery store and the kids see something that they want, they don't know how to stick to a list, so they end up throwing things in your cart. When we're going shopping with a friend, sometimes that's our girl time, that's our guy time, whatever it may be. Well, friends are often distractions. And because you're shopping with a friend, we may be tempted to impulse buy. So again, if you're able to do so, especially for on the budget and we're trying to watch our pennies, shop alone, if you're able to do so at all. And then it comes, what has been brought up a couple of times today is the bargain hunting. People love to things on sale and tell others about it. My hand is high up in the air you guys, cause this is totally me. Getting something at 75% off is an accomplishment. It's a sign that we are smart shoppers or bargain hunters, and it just makes us feel good. And so looking for sales is definitely a great cost saving measure for products that we were planning to buy already. However, if we end up buying something that was on clearance or on sale that we don't need, and that we didn't intend to buy, we're not saving money at all, we're actually losing money, Because it was just an impulse purchase for something we didn't need. But let me tell you that red little tag on sale items, on any item, that catches my attention. So we have to remember that we're focusing on the cost, not just the savings that we're making on that purchase. So if you weren't going to buy it anyway, the best bargain for all of us is just not to buy it, no matter how much it is on sale. And I think this is where I struggle and I'm in a struggle even more during our upcoming months because I start to think to myself, oh, here's my list of people I want to shop for, and oh Brianna, you are speaking my language right there, my garage is full of, but it was on clearance. This is so me, and this is why my story with shopping for the holidays is I'll find something on sale, and I'm like, oh, I'm definitely going to give this to my nephew. Two things will happen between that, or more than two, but at least two. One, if I know it's something he wants, between October and December, he will completely change what he's asking for and what he's into. The second thing is I will store it somewhere and I will forget where I put it. So I am not saving money, I am just throwing money away. So this is where I struggle, and so I keep thinking to myself, stop shopping so early, just keep your eye on the ads, keep your finger on the pulse, but don't shop too early, because it is a complete downward spiral for me. And I love that I'm not alone. You guys are making me feel so good this morning. And then there comes the retail therapy. We kind of chimed about this a little bit earlier, when we're out shopping. Because a lot of us, whether we mean to or not, we shop and we want to buy things to cheer ourselves up, When things are not going well or had a tough day, and the kids are driving you nuts or work just could have been better. A lot of times we just go retail shopping and we call it retail therapy. And in fact, research shows that shopping increases the level of chemicals in the brain that regulate happiness. Well, hello, of course we want to feel happy. However, the happiness that buying provides, it's usually very short-lived and the problems that result from overspending only cause guilt and stress, and then even potentially debt. So I love the comment that was made earlier, is this helping me achieve my short and long-term goals? So think about that when we're out shopping because we can't think of it as retail therapy. So resist the urge to shop when you're feeling depressed, resist the urge to shop when you're feeling sad, or when you're anxious. Instead, a really goof option is to engage in mood boosting activities and that are free. Exercising, baking, if you've already got stuff here, reading a book, going for a walk. There's so many things that we can do to help us feel better when we are wanting to be cheered up. And if you feel that you can't control your shopping and it is having a negative impact on your life, you may want to seek professional help. But I think there's so many other ways, we just have to want to say yes to everything else and no to the shopping. Here's a comment, I got lost in pandemic internet shopping while staying at home, looking forward to getting the packages. Oh my gosh, Mary I'm with you, I felt like I had Amazon being delivered every day because it gave me something to do. Especially late at night, and the pandemic, we can't go anywhere, what else are we going to do? And we're going to shop. So, yeah, I think that we are all on the right track, but I love that we are supporting each other and we're going to be those friends that say, Hey, I may want to go shopping with you, but I'm not going to let you buy it, because I know the situation that you're in or it's a situation that I'm in. So again, just trying to be aware of the retail therapy spiral. Then it comes to what we were chatting about earlier in this workshop is using money as a form of love. We've all been in that situation where we're trying to show our love by spending money. And so periodically buying gifts or spending money on loved ones is totally normal, it's perfectly normal, especially as we're getting into the holiday season. However, we really need to avoid draining our wallet to buy love. Not only just trying to buy love, not work from a relationship point of view, but you really shouldn't have to sacrifice your financial health for others. So if you're feeling guilty about something you did to maybe make up to a friend or a family member, just address it head on instead of shelling money to fix the problems. Sometimes that's hard to do, is using our voice is sometimes hard and using our wallet is much easier, even though it's going to hurt more in the long run, but those are just one of the options. If you do need to buy a gift, again, we're going into the holiday season, keep in mind that most people prefer a thoughtful gift to an expensive one. In fact, there's so many ways to do something nice or make something for somebody that doesn't cost hardly anything. So if you have ideas on how you have provided low cost, thoughtful gifts, feel free to go ahead and drop those in the chat so we can all benefit from that as well. If you're a giver who always feels the need to outstretch your hand to family and friends in recognizing, and you recognize that giving them money may do more harm than good. So we just have to be aware of that. Is giving them money to a friend or family member if they're in need, is that really going to help them in the long run or are you really hurting them, because maybe they're not learning a lesson? I know this can happen, this has happened with me and family members, where they asked for some money. And I don't want to be that sister or that cousin that says no, so I definitely want to help, but I also want to make sure that, what are they using it for and how can I help them in addition to that long-term. And so it's not just kind of like one of those help me make the payment for the month and then next month I'm going to be asking somebody else. So definitely just keep that in mind as we're using money for love. Now, we're going to talk a little bit about spending versus savings. It's natural for us to focus more on today than tomorrow. There's so many quotes out there today's like live for today, not for tomorrow, live like you were dying, which means, that's just telling everybody to go out and just spend all their money today, and they don't have to worry about tomorrow. However, in many cases, this is totally insensible, right? We have to be thinking not only about today, but we also have to be thinking about saving for things that are in the future, whatever that may be, depending on what your lifestyle looks like. But it's hard because we often put immediate desires ahead of our future important needs. So let me give you an example here. Let's say you have a hundred dollars in your wallet right now. You can either go out and spend it on a really fancy meal today, or you can put it into your savings account. If you spend it on your fancy meal, you get to enjoy it today. Oh, we love that instant gratification. However, if you put it in savings, you have to wait. And so what's more appealing? Of course, going out for that fancy meal, definitely. We want to enjoy that hundred dollars right now. However, it can be really hard to save for things that are far off like retirement, buying a car, even going on a vacation. And so we constantly are telling ourselves, oh, we can start saving tomorrow, we can start saving tomorrow. But guess what? For many people, tomorrow never comes. And so as a result, a lot of consumers, a lot of people don't save enough to meet those short and long-term goals. And so we really have to make a concentrated effort to place savings in the forefront now. One of the things that I do, and again, I challenge you to have those short and longterm goals, is put a picture of whatever that may be on the refrigerator, put it on your mirror when you get up in the morning. Cause that will help you make those decisions for the entire day. A very quick example is a couple of years ago, my cousin and I wanted to do a Paris trip, just the two of us. And it was going to be very expensive, we did our homework, we knew how much we were going to need to save and how much we were going to need to be able to have when we were there. And so I cut out a picture of the Eiffel tower, I put it on my bathroom vanity, and that really set my tone for the day. It reminded me not to go to Starbucks, because I knew Starbucks was going to make me happy in the moment, but that $4 venti black tea lemonade, again, very happy in the moment, but I really wanted that $4 to go towards Paris so I can get a croissant at the bottom of the Eiffel tower. And so those are the things that we have to think about, what's the instant gratification versus what's the goal that we're trying to achieve? And we all have different goals, so you do what you need to do based on your specific scenario. But I will challenge you to start saving now, because the sooner we start saving, the more money that we're going to have. As a matter of fact, I often tell friends and family and members alike is when you are looking at your bills and you're kind of documenting how much the bills are every month, make sure that your name or your family name is somewhere on the list. Pay yourself as if you're paying your electricity bill. And that means when you're paying yourself, you're putting money into a savings account. Because let me tell you, you are as important, if not more than that electricity. Yes, we got to keep the lights on, but we got to find a way to help get us be on that bill list. We need to be paying ourselves into a savings account to help us save for those financial goals and/or emergencies. So now we're going to talk about the role of credit. Just again, we're going to kind of glance over this because having credit can make it very easy to overspend. In fact, research shows that people spend more when they use credit instead of cash or a debit card. And I think that that is not shocking to any of us because it's very easy to know that, oh, I paid for it now, but then you kind of forget that you have to make payments, for the next 10, 12, 36 months, whatever it may be. So although credit does allow us to buy something today without having to pay it all in full, if you're not going to be able to pay off the balance in full when that bill comes and you're going to have to pay interest, we really want to steer clear of that. Paying interest on something, especially on something that we didn't need, ooh, that really hurts. So keep in mind when you're going to purchase something, is it something that I need, something that I want, and can I pay with my cash or debit card, or do I need to pull out that credit card. Using cash or a debit card can really help you be a thrifty shopper because we're kind of keeping an eye on that checking account balance. And it doesn't mean that we want to avoid credit completely. We just want to be super mindful of when the time is right to use that credit card. If we're trying to build credit or re-establish credit, purchasing a mortgage or a car, those are good ways for us to potentially use credit. But if we're charging a $5 magazine, or if I'm putting my $4 venti black tea lemonade on a credit card every single day, and I don't have the money to pay it off at the end of the month, that's the problem. Cause now I'm paying interest on that venti black tea lemonade, and let me tell you, that does not feel good, it'll make me sick. Brianna, you and I need to chat after cause we need to consolidate some of their credit cards and transfer your balances over to CU SoCal. So we will definitely be in touch. So keep in mind, that's the role that credit really should pay, not play, not just for everyday items. So being a conscious consumer, again, these are the things that we really need to be asking ourselves. Very similar questions to the questions I pose to you at the very beginning of the workshop, because earning money, the money that we are making, that takes a lot of time and effort. Spending our money should be spent with the same care and conscious manner. So before you open your wallet, ask yourself these questions. Will I really use the product or service? What are my motives? Do I own anything else that can provide the same use? Did I feel a need for this item before I saw it? That's the impulse buying right there. What are the other financial and emotional costs of the purchase, and can I really afford it? Can I get the product or service for less elsewhere? So again, questions for yourself. The question that I ask myself all the time, especially right when I'm running into Costco and Target is do I need it? Do I need it now? And what will happen if I leave the store without it? And so I challenge you all to do the same thing, really question every single purchase and those of you that have kids, these are great habits to start with them now. My niece, who's the oldest, and my little one is little, but she does this all the time now, she's such a great spender. She knows never to pay full price for something. She's only 11, but she knows the question that I'm going to pose to her if we go into Target and she wants something is do you need it? Do you need it now? What will happen if we leave the store without it? And nine and a half times out of 10, she decides she doesn't need it. My nephew made a really beautiful comment to me earlier that I wanted to share because I'm very thrifty and I don't let them buy silly things at the store when they want them. I always tell them, I'm going to say no now because I'm saving for something bigger. And so over the summer we took my brother and family, we took all the kids to Disneyland and I told them, I said, this is the fun day, so they got churros and dole whips and ice cream at the end of the day, and my nephew who's 14, he was like, auntie, he goes, I get it. He goes, I get why you don't let me buy a soda every time we go somewhere it's so we can enjoy big family fun days like this. And I was so emotional and I was like, yes, Travis, you get it, you get it. And so keep that in mind, make sure that you're bringing your family and your kids into the conversation. If you've got a spouse or a partner, make sure that you guys are on the same board when it comes to spending money. With that, I'm going to kind of open it up, we've got a few minutes before our workshop ends. Are there any questions that I can answer for you or that maybe somebody in the group can answer? While we're doing that, I am putting up a slide here at Balance is our financial education and counseling service that CU SoCal uses. This is a completely free service for our members. So if you are looking at getting out of debt or trying to find a way to start saving or, maximizing where your money is going, feel free to one, not only contact CU SoCal, we're efinitely happy to help you, but there's also a toll free number and a website, they're available 24 hours a day, and somebody there can help you take a look at your credit card or your credit report, and see where can we consolidate some of the debt? Where can we potentially do some refinancing to save money? All those little things are those big habits that we need to start, instead of just saying, yeah, I'm going to get a credit card at 22% because that's just what we do, we really want to help changing those habits of, yeah, this Macy's sounds great with the 22% interest rate, but maybe I can go to CU So Cal and get a lower interest rate and now I can maybe use it everywhere and not just at Macy's. So we just have to start questioning all of our purchases, and it will make us better consumers, and we're going to beat the whole psychology that the advertisers and businesses are trying to put on us. We can be much better spenders. So with that, I don't see any questions coming in the chat here, but if you have any questions, please feel free to send me a direct message. If I can't get back to you today, I'll make sure that I get back to you later in the week. In the meantime, if you are willing or you're here to stay with us for the rest of the day, we do have another seminar that we'll be starting here in about 15 minutes, that's social security strategies. So with that, if I don't have any other questions, I wish you all a beautiful afternoon. Thank you so much for spending your morning with me. And I look forward to seeing you again real soon, take care.

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