A recent Newsweek cover story called “Money Brain, the New Science Behind Your Spending Addiction” by Sharon Begley and Jean Chatzky points to some biological reasons why some of us spend to much and save to little. The authors studied the brains of savers and spenders and found that their brains had some key differences. The main difference is in the pleasure center of the brain and the allowances for delayed gratification. Where the spenders value pleasure now, (specially the pleasure of purchasing or acquiring) greater then delayed satisfaction of savings, even if the latter is much increased.
Don’t take this as an excuse to blow through all your money however. While this is the biological starting point for decisions you make, the study also shows that you can choose to override this impulse and still save your money if you try. They point out that while we may be genetically driven to a specific behavior, humans have the ability to cancel out our biological programing, and even change it if the behavior is changed often enough.
So just because you like to spend money, it doesn’t mean you have to.