DURHAM, N.C. -- The perception of money and what it is really used for is the theme of two seminars sponsored by Duke University Federal Credit Union.
The free "Psychology of Spending" seminars will take place Nov. 14 and Dec. 19 and aim to help attendees understand their relationship with money. Jeff Dowd, associate chief operating officer at the $69 million credit union, will speak at the seminars.
He advises attendees to ask some hard questions before they open their wallet to buy something including "what would happen if I didn't get it" and "did I feel a need for it before I saw it in the mall?" Other questions to ponder are "what are the motives for buying it" and "what will I have to give up to afford it?"
Attendees at a September seminar were asked to rank where they spend the most money and restaurants topped the list. Dowd said even diligent spenders are tempted to splurge on unnecessary items just because they are on sale. Other factors that entice people to spend are advertising, access to easy credit and being in the midst of the mall experience. He also offered tips for stretching a paycheck and reminding participants that credit ratings can be affected by spending habits.