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Color and Money

by Nikki Willhite

When you think of color you may not think about money.  However color is a major factor in many of our expenditures. We waste a lot of money because of color in many different ways.

Millions of dollars have been spent designing colors for the packaging of items so that we will buy them when we go shopping. Fashion designers decide what the colors we should be wearing each season. As we try and find clothes to wear in our closets, color is often the key to whether we feel we have enough clothes or have to go out and buy more. Color affects the way our homes look, and our buying decisions. Many of the things we buy are for no other reason than we need something to go with something else in the right color.

Color is very emotional. It appeals to our sense of vision in the same way that music appeals to our sense of hearing. Some colors are universally appealing, while other colors appeal differently to people. Making color decisions in our life can be frustrating. Yet, how boring the world would be if everything was beige or white.

Do you have any colors that you do not like? How about color combinations? Do you have any you particularly dislike? Color evokes different emotional responses. Here are just a few of them to some of the more common colors:


Bright Red- Aggressive, Vibrant, Energizing
Dark Red- Sophisticated, Rich, Old World


Bright Pink- Party Time, Fun.
Pale Pink- Calming, naive


Bright Yellow- Stimulating, cheerful
Pale Yellow- Compassion, intellectual, spiritual
Gold- Wealth, power


Medium Blue- Safety, Relaxation, Recreation
Pastel Blue- Calm, Insecurity, Cold, Introspective
Dark Blue- Conservative, Secure, Trust, Authoritative


Medium Green- Earthy, Safe, Comfortable
Light Green- Inexperienced, New Growth, Youth
Dark Green
- Secure, wealth, Good Judgment
Blue Green- Artistic, romantic


Medium Orange- Exciting, Earthy, Common
Pale Orange- Comfortable, stress-reducing


Medium Purple- Theatrical, Gaudy, Serious, Spiritual
Pale Purple- Sweet, sensuous, imaginative


Beige- Calm, Earthy, Natural, Passive
Grey- Non-committal, cold, sophisticated
Black- Dramatic, Stimulating, Oppressive
White- Pure, Clean, Crisp, Cool
Green - the "new" neutral - serene, earthy, warm

Every color has many different shades. Here are four groups of colors that people respond to in a fairly typical way.

1. Colors that are light and pure make you feel happy, although they are not viewed as "serious    colors."

2. Colors that are toned down, such as bright red to raspberry, are more calming, but can be viewed as more boring.

3. Rich colors, in medium to dark shades, like jewel tones, are stimulating and dramatic. They may induce feelings of insecurity or boredom.

4. Dark and Dull colors are considered serious, profound, and introverted.

Think of how these colors are applied in fashion. You don't see many steel gray bathing suits. Summer fun clothes are in the first group of colors. Most business apparel is in the fourth group.

The great thing about color is that it doesn't cost extra money.  If you are painting your walls, it doesn't cost any more money to paint them in a color you like than one you don't like. The trick is getting it right.

Sometimes you have to make do with what we have. Other times, you have a choice. Perhaps you don't have to buy an item in a color you don't like if you look a little longer. It may be a good deal on the price, but if you aren't going to enjoy looking at it, or wearing it because of the color, it is not a good deal for you.

Think about color this week. Think about which colors you enjoy looking at. Which colors reflect your personality? How do you want to be perceived? Is there anything that you enjoy looking at just because of the color?

Take the time to organize your thoughts about your color preferences.  You will shop faster, and you will be happier with what you purchase, and waste less money.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 


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