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"Life Stage Events Triggers Spending"

RELEASE: September 2002
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA. "People have two things to spend; time and money and they would much rather spend their money. When is your family most likely overspend? Research indicates people contemplating a major life stage event, such as a wedding, buying a new home, a new baby, or even retiring are the most likely overspenders” said 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.

Newlyweds, for example, spend 70 percent more during their first six months of marriage. Home buyers increase spending 200 percent within the first year and new parents will spend about $170,000 per child, excluding education. Retirees tend to shift spending towards more travel and make about 33 percent more charitable contributions. The new spending is so significant that direct mail marketers now offer a "consumer spending triggers” mail list, with access to about 3 million prospects based on Life Stage Events.

No matter which way it happens, many people, young and old, have a tendency to overspend. Paying too much for things is the most common way of overspending and easiest to reverse. Second is spending more than you have through mortgages, auto loans and other credit based spending.

The consumer's best, but least used, defense for paying too much for things is to simply comparison shop. Separate shopping trips from spending trips. Leave credit /debit cards and checkbooks home when shopping to compare price, value and quality, among other things. If you purchase with a credit card, enter the purchase in your checkbook register and deduct the amount as though you had written a check, to avoid the other type of overspending and have the money set aside when the charge card bill comes in the mail.

Here are a few more tips to help improve spending and obtain a greater value:

  1. Collect cash purchase receipts and look for wasteful trends.
  2. Seek lower cost alternatives to spending, such as a rental or borrowing.
  3. Utilize cents-off coupons and mail in for rebates.
  4. Wait for the sales. Comparison shopping can save more than 50 percent.
  5. Take advantage of seconds, rebuilt and used items where practical.
  6. Start doing things for yourself that others were paid to do previously.
  7. Have meetings on improving spending with family members.

For information about "Mending Spending,” visit the ICFE's Web page at: The site includes helpful sections on increasing savings, using credit wisely, plus "How to set up and implement a spending-plan" (with a one page work sheet). 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).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, 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 education programs and Resources. It 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 became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the ( web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

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.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: and  Both sites 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,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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PO Box 34070
San Diego, Ca 92163
Paul S. Richard, Executive Director
Phone 619-239-1401

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