Aug 01, 2015


Money Spending: What Your Coffee Says About Your Spending Style

Share this:


Editors’s note:  This week we’ve teamed up with a special guest contributor, Meadow Devor, financial expert and master money coach to talk about money!   We’re also giving away 100 downloadable copies of Meadow’s Money Love ebook ($9.99 value)  from 12pm to 4pm EST on Saturday!  Check out tonight’s giveaway information below!

I really never used to give much thought to my spending. In my mind, it was a means to an end. I liked paying for some stuff and hated paying for other stuff. I liked shopping and buying stuff. Especially stuff from Macy’s, Nordstrom and Target. And, I hated paying for things like car repairs, taxes, and my retirement. But, I never really broke down how I felt about the actual spending of the money. The verb. The exchanging.

Instead, I focused on trying to make more money and tried not to focus on the spending. To be honest, thinking about my spending would just send me into a tailspin of feeling stupid, dishonest, entitled, childish and guilty. So, I did my best to avoid that subject.

Now, I give careful consideration to each money exchange and I help my clients do the same thing. We pay attention to how and why we spend our money. We recognize what type of spending that we’re engaging in. We know where we are on the Abundance Scale. We recognize our patterns and deliberately keep our focus on the result that we are trying to relate.

We all spend money. We pay our bills. We pay the parking meter. We buy things. We go to the grocery store. We put gas in our car.

It’s very rare to find a day that we don’t spend money.

Each time money leaves our hands, or our debit cards, or our credit cards, or our bank accounts – we have an opportunity to learn about our relationship with money.

How we feel when we spend our money has an enormous impact on our financial results.

Our thoughts create feelings. From these feelings we take action. When we’re talking about money, the actions that we take are spending and earning. These are the things we DO when we FEEL a certain way. The way we feel determines the type of action we take.  When we feel neutral we take actions and create results specific to those actions. When we feel scarce, we take different actions and create a different result.

The tool I use for this is the Four Types of Spending. It’s a tool to help you determine why you spend what you spend. It helps takes the mystery out of your current finances. It helps you figure out why you ended up here in the first place.

Determining the Type of Spend strengthens your relationship with yourself and with your money. It’s a tool that gives you an access point for cleaning up stressful and painful thoughts… even ones you never knew you had. It helps build self-awareness as well as financial awareness.

The Four Types of Spending are Abundant Spending, Neutral Spending, Scarcity Spending, and Avoidance Spending. Each type of spending leads to drastically different results.

Abundant Spending: This is money spent from the abundant zone on the Abundance Scale (+2 to +10). Thoughts about this spend are abundant, generous, and positively charged. You feel good about the price, feel good emotionally, and feel good about the item that you are paying for. It is an action that is taken from abundant and positive feelings and thoughts.

Neutral Spending: This is money spent from the neutral zone on the Abundance Scale (-1 to +1). Thoughts about this spend are neutral and not emotionally charged. You feel neutral about the price, feel neutral emotionally, and feel neutral about the item that you are paying for. It is an action that is taken from neutral feelings and thoughts.

Scarcity Spending: This is money spent from the scarce zone on the Abundance Scale (-2 to -10). Thoughts about this spend are scarce, resistant and negatively charged.  You feel bad about the price, feel bad emotionally, and/or feel bad about the item that you’re paying for. It is an action that is taken from a scarce and negative feelings and thoughts.

Avoidance Spending: This is money spent unconsciously in order to not experience scarce/negative feelings and thoughts. Avoidance Spending is money spent in the scarcity zone on the Abundance Scale, even though you do not recognize the feeling at the time. This is an action taken to NOT FEEL something. To numb a feeling. This is an action usually taken to distract yourself from the truth. To distract you from what you’re really feeling. It is typically money spent in order to avoid feeling broke, stuck, bored, lonely, punished, left out.  Avoidance Spending can also be money that you are unconsciously spending because you aren’t dealing with your finances (extras like un-used gym memberships, extra cell phone minutes, unused automatic payments, overdraft fees, etc.)

The Type of Spend is not price or item dependent. Many of my clients confuse this in the beginning. They think that inexpensive items are Abundant or Neutral Spends. They think expensive items are Scarce Spends.  But, any time money is exchanged, it has the capacity to be any one of the Four Types of Spending.  The Spend is determined by your score on the Abundance Scale (thoughts and feelings).

For example, let’s look at how a cup of coffee can be all four different Types of Spending.

Coffee Scenario #1: I am in a very good mood. I have plenty of time. I go to my favorite coffee shop, Kreuzberg, CA. Kreuzberg is a perfect place to hang out and get some work done.  It’s owned by one of my best friends, James, here in town. I walk in and I’m happily surprised to see Tina and Zeke sitting at a table and talking. I join them.  James brings me over the most perfect cappuccino (seriously… Verve… trust … try it) and sits down to join us. We all get caught up on the latest shenanigans and share our latest woes.

These are my people and I love them. I drop a few bucks in the barista’s jar before I leave (because there’s no way James will take my money). I feel great about my life, my time, my friends. I’m in a place of abundance – not just abundance of money but abundance of support, friendship, and care.  I feel overwhelmingly grateful. Those dollars in the tip jar are an Abundant Spend.

Coffee Scenario #2: I am on my way out of town and I want to grab a cup of coffee for the road. Right around the corner from my house is a tiny market that the neighborhood affectionately calls “The Pantry.”  I stop by the pantry and grab a cup of joe. Not giving a lot of thought to the coffee or the price. I glance at the headlines on the newspaper by the cash register. Pay my two bucks and then hop in my car and head onto the highway. I’m feeling peaceful. This cup of coffee is a Neutral Spend.

Coffee Scenario #3: I have about 15 minutes before my next client and I’m exhausted. Maybe a cup of coffee will help. Ack! I’m out of coffee. There’s a Starbucks (sorry James) a few blocks from my house over closer to the college and I decide to drive over there to get a coffee.  There’s a line to the door of college students. Every single one of them is going to be ordering a stupid frappucino. It’s going to take forever to even be able to order my friggin coffee. I’m angry at the line. I’m frustrated by dumb college students who don’t know what to order. I’m mad at myself for running out of coffee in the first place. By the time I get to the front of the line – I have exactly one minute before I have to be on a call with my next client.  I pay my two bucks and give the barista evil eyes to try to make him hurry.  I’m feeling impatient and frustrated. Even though my thoughts and feelings are not specifically about the money, this is a Scarcity Spend.

Coffee Scenario #4: I wake up with a pit in my stomach. My little girl is going on vacation with her dad for an entire week. This is the first time that she’s been gone this long. I’m going to be dropping her off at school in an hour and will need to say goodbye there. I hate this. I decide to take her to the donut shop to celebrate our last morning together. I get coffee and she gets a donut and milk. We spend our last 15 minutes together talking about her upcoming trip. I drop her off at school and get back into my car and cry for the first time all morning. I go to journal my Spend and notice that I want to say this Spend was “Abundant” because it was a celebration. But, the truth is that I was sad. I was sad and trying to avoid being sad. I lied to myself and called it a celebration. A celebration of what? Saying goodbye?! That’s nothing I like to celebrate. I tried to avoid my sadness by ‘celebrating’. This is an Avoidance Spend.


One FREE copy of Meadow Devor’s 30-Day Starter Kit (a $49 value).

How To Enter the Giveaway!

It’s simple: Just share what you liked about this post, or what resonated with you.  Leave a comment below.

For additional chances to enter (only after you answer question above):

1. Like New Latina fan page on Facebook and leave a message letting us know that you “Liked” the fan page.  If you have already “Liked” the page, leave a message letting us know that you’ve already “Liked” us.

2. Like Meadow Devor’s fan page on Facebook and leave a message letting us know that you “Liked” the fan page.  If you have already “Liked” the page, leave a message letting us know that you’ve already “Liked” us.

3.  Subscribe to New Latina updates via email and leave a comment letting us know that you subscribed.  If you’re already a subscriber, leave a message letting us know that you’re already a subscriber.

4.   For 1 additional entry:  Tweet the following and leave 1 separate comments with a copy of your tweet.

Giveaway today @ 8PM EST! 30-Day Money Starter Kit by @Meadow Devor ($49 value) via @NewLatina  #latism #latinabloggers

This giveaway ends tonight, at 8PM EST.  Winner will be randomly selected via We will notify winners via email and Facebook.

Buena Suerte!!

Disclosure:  New Latina is not an affiliate of Meadow Devor Money Coaching products. This is just another effort by New Latina to empower our readers and followers.



If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Meadow Devor

Meadow Devor

Meadow DeVor is a Master Certified Money Coach who has devoted her practice to helping her clients create a healthy relationship with money. She believes that everyone has the power to transform their lives, find their own financial freedom and create a better relationship with money by changing the way we think. She has been a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and her articles have been featured in Women's Day Magazine. She is known for her 'take-no-prisoners' approach to coaching, her radical authenticity, and most of all... for her giggle. She is committed to doing serious work while making it as fun as possible. She writes a popular blog about money. You can read more of her work at

More Articles - Website - Twitter - Facebook

Related Stories:


  1. This is such a great post! I really feel like I have learned a lot here and I have these types of emotions every time I spend. It’s interesting how she explains them as four separate types of “spends”. I think that dividing them this ways makes a person more aware of the emotions that they’re feeling at each purchase and can prevent you from making certain times of emotionally un-benificial purchases in the future. Very well put! This is my favorite in the money series, by far! :)

  2. Beth Ortuno says:

    This is very interesting and worthy of taking some time to think about. Now that I consider it, probably very few dollars I spend are free of emotion– does it cloud my judgement? It must, if I’m not even noticing it happening.

  3. I have really been focusing on my family budget recently and how/where/why we spend the money we do. I know based on our income and family size we should be able to save a lot more then we are. I look forward to using any tools and resources available to help get our spending in line with our goals and getting debt free.

  4. I have also liked New Latina on facebook today.

  5. I love that you gave scenarios to help put the types of spending in context. Totally helps me to understand it all better! Such a great series. Thanks for sharing all of this information.

  6. Follow NL on FB!

  7. I definitely see patterns of spending that I repeat often. i’ve never been honest enough with myself to sit down and think through them much less think about how im spending my money at the time. I have a lot of work to do!

  8. I love Meadow Devor’s lessons about money! So many of the students I mentor could use these lessons–so I will definitely pass this on to them. And really anybody can take Devor’s lessons and learn how to treat money much better. A great New Year’s Resolution :)

  9. I think I have done all of these at one time or another. But, based on my experience it has always been I have felt guilty about spending money while my husband does the avoidance thing. Interesting look at how we can justify everything even our prurchases and place them into categories. I never thought about it before!

  10. I liked NL on Facebook and Meadow Devor and Tweeted.

    :) Good Luck everyone!


  1. […] Devor.  She shared her expertise with us and imparted some smart money tips and thought-provoking wisdoms about spending.  Here are five great articles that will help you to build a successful relationship with your […]

  2. […] untrustworthy. It means walking into any store and knowing what you really want. And knowing that spending money, especially money that you do not have, can never create what you’re really wanting. It means […]

As seen on The Huffington Post, Latina, Glamour, iVillage and many more!
SEO Powered By SEOPressor