Is your personality that of an investor or a spender?
My personality is that of a conscious spender. Every dollar that we spend is a choice.
Do you love or hate to go to stores? Why?
LOVE! I enjoy seeing what's new and especially what's on-sale. Online shopping is great for specific searches, but in person affords us the opportunity to use all of our senses and just see what is available. You never know what treasure you may find.
Are you in the habit of returning home with what you went out to buy, or do you spend money on other things?
I' will spend money on other things. Then later I can go "closet-shopping" for what I need.
My mother taught me that the key to getting a great deal is to pick up what is a great buy at the time on things you know you'll need. I may not need that clearance pair of boots in June, but Future Me will be very happy to have them when the cold weather kicks in and all the shops are selling boots at full-price again.
Do you like to accompany shoppers to help them decide what to buy? Do you like others to accompany you when you shop?
I do enjoy being with my friends for shopping dates and helping others decide what to get, but I frequently like to shop alone. There is something soothing about wandering through a shop with no one else to think about but yourself.
Do you use the internet to shop? Do you research on the internet first and then buy in stores or vice versa?
Yes. Yes. Yes. It really depends on the item. I make electronic purchases online because I prefer online research. I make tactile purchases in person because I need to use my senses to decide. If I use the knowledge and time of a sales-associate I always try and buy something from them even if it is not at that moment.
Do you pay by credit usually, occasionally, or never? What justifies that?
In the past I paid by credit, but now I rarely do. The weight of debt is so much that it can be suffocating. I fantasize about having a debt free existence so I can grab opportunities without worrying about that next paycheck.
Are you in the habit of reading product labels? What type of information do you look for?
Absolutely - especially on food and garments. I am looking for what the item consists of - ingredients, materials, and where it is made.
What brands do you think are up and coming?
What brands do you think are on the way out?
Which purchase criteria do you use: what you like, the top of the line, the relationship of quality-to-price, not paying for something you do not need...?
I generally stick with looking at quality and price, but they do not always correlate. Everyone has favorites, but it rarely hurts to try something new if you like it.
How is the financial crisis effecting your consumer habits?
I am a much more reserved consumer, but am hopeful. I am learning a lot about my personal habits.
Which is more important to you, to be up-to-date in technology, in culture, or in fashion?
Tricky. In order most to least important - culture, technology, fashion.
Which do you appreciate more in a hotel room, a television or Internet access?
Internet access - gotta have my maps and reviews for finding local spots to eat.
How do you purchase vacations, through a local travel agency, or on the Internet?
Internet 100%. I have never been to a travel agency, but I'm sure they are the perfect way to plan for some people.
How long has it been since you last bought a music CD? Where do you get the music you listen to?
Hmmmm ... probably a few years at least. My younger sister gives me most of my new music nowadays.
How often do you go to the movies? Do you rent or buy DVDs? Do you download movies from the Internet?
Every other month, but more if I can. I love my netflix account and their "watch instantly" option.
What do you do with clothes and gadgets you no longer need but are still in good condition?
I pass them down to someone I know or donate them to the Salvation Army.
Do you recycle? What kind of waste is recycled where you live?
Yep. Paper, plastic, appliances, furniture, cooking grease, and lots more. Stuff is always coming available for recycling.
Bottled or filtered water? Paper or plastic bags?
Filtered water and my own bags. Plastic or paper, when used, are reused for trash can liners and recycle bags.
Do you use your area's public transportation? If you have a vehicle, what kind is it, and what do you use it for?
RTD all the way. I haven't had a vehicle for more than a few months since the 90's.
Do you give preference to local products over of imported?
Depends on the product, but I try to support local farmers as much as possible.
When a product does not live up to its promises, do you make a complaint, or do you think that is just a waste of time?
I contact the company. They want to know how their product is viewed and experienced by customers - good and bad. Hearing the bad helps them improve and hearing the good helps them know what we like.
Do you ever buy store brands? If so, what types of products, and which not?
Sure. I'm all for using store brands when they serve my needs and won't interfere with the integrity of the event. Making a pot of chili and need some tomatoes or pickled jalapenos? The store brand is fine. Making marinara sauce? No way would I go with anything less than the top of the line tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. It's all about where your focus is.
What is your assessment of the low-cost brand phenomenon?
There have always been low cost brands. They are now owning that and re-branding themselves in a positive light. I think it's great. Not everyone is a millionaire or wants to spend all their money on expensive bands.
What percentage of your income do you consider appropriate to save for the future?
It's old fashioned, but I like the 10% rule. I'd like to do more - as most of us would - but the reality is most people can barely get by on their wages. Even if it's not much, anything we can do for our Future Self is good.
If you inherited the equivalent of 10 years worth of your annual income, what would you invest in?
Graduate education for myself and bolstering my younger sisters college funds.
How do you master the impulse buying? What do you tell yourself?
I leave the store and come back if I really want the item. I am always telling myself, "Wait. It'll be on sale soon."
Do you see consumption as a social act? Is every purchase decision we make a vote?
What basic advice on money management would you/do you give your children?
Live within your means.
Boulder, CO - United States