Paying Too Much for Things is the Most Common Form of Overspending Says the Nonprofit ICFE

RELEASE: January 2003
CONTACT: Paul Richard, RFC, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA. 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 repay.

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 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
3. ____ 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 whenever possible.
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 Techniques

10-15 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: 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