I was returning from work Friday evening (I take the bus), when I overheard a conversation between two women (possibly co-workers heading home).
One woman complimented the other on the blouse she was wearing. She smiled and responded, “Glad you liked it. You know, I had to hide this from my husband. He would throw a fit if he knew how much I paid for this!”
I am sure you can also relate to similar situations. Think back to the last time you spent money. Perhaps it was yesterday or even a few hours ago. Perhaps you can’t remember the last thing that you bought!
Ask yourself the reason for making that spending decision. Did you buy something necessary such as groceries or medication? Was the item something you needed or just wanted at that moment? Did you worry about having enough money to pay for the item? Did the purchase cost more than you thought it should or did you even worry about the price? Did spending the money make you feel guilty or did it give you pleasure?
At one point or another we all come across moments where we can’t resist the urge to buy something. I usually get the “reality” check when I receive my credit card bill! While we sometimes get criticized for over spending and impulse buying, I don’t think that it’s ENTIRELY our fault! Society, strategic product decisions, advertising and marketing make certain items so…. appealing!
1. “Touch me, use me, take me home!”
This is especially true for electronic items. Have you noticed how companies unveil their latest gadgets? Ideally, they want you to pick it up, touch it, or interact in a multisensory way. They want you to “come and experience” it(for free!). Naturally, you want to. After all, there is so much hype around the product, and you want to “try it yourself”.
When you get a taste of the experience, you instantly get emotionally attached to it. Before you know it, you are thinking of ways to ”squeeze” some money to buy this “marvelous” product!
2. “Use this coupon to get a 10% discount” I often feel like I am loosing “free” money if I don’t use the coupon.
Coupons can compel you to buy items that you don’t really need. Often, it is likely that you wouldn’t have bought the item, had you not seen the coupon. Saving $2.00 off a $20 item is good, but not spending the $20 in the first place is much better. Don’t you think?
3. Temptation near the checkout counter
Once you purchase the items you need, you have to wait a few minutes until it’s your turn to pay the bill. Irresistible DVDs, alluring magazines, along with overpriced beverages and candy…. Retailers make good use of this situation, by placing these near the counter!
4. "Oh my gosh! That's so cool. I've gotta get one."
Shops have a funny way of ”romancing the consumer”! Whether it’s just wandering into a store or standing before a display window, you get sucked in.
5. “Buy 2 and get one free” Arh! The word “free”! You feel compelled to buy it, just because you get one item free. Have you noticed that most of these item prices end with .99($5.99, $14.99)? This make it a little more difficult in calculating the “saving”. I am yet to see a person computing the mathematics! As a result, “buy two get one free” might actually lead to saving a few cents.
Another factor to keep in mind is the expiry date. Sometimes, they package things you need, but these items are about to expire. So having 3 of the same item wouldn’t do you any good.
6. “I buy things thinking they’ll cheer me up, give me something to do.”
Recently one of my friend’s broke up with her boyfriend and to get through the ordeal she started spending time at the mall. If she saw something that made her feel good, she would simply buy it without thinking much.
Shops go to extra lengths to ensure that shopping is an enjoyable event for the customer. There are times when I went shopping and felt like I did something good, fun, and beneficial!
7. “30% Off on when you purchase above ...!"
When you see a “super deal” like this, you feel like a winner. These deals make you believe that you WILL save money. However, this offer requires you to spend a certain amount, in order to get the percentage off. This is a great bargain if you have items that you actually NEED to buy, but often you end up buying frivolous items just to take advantage of deal.
8. “Call and order right now and receive this added bonus of..” Our desire to spend start with the hundreds of advertising messages we're bombarded with each day from multiple media, from television and radio to billboards and email pop-ups.
Advertising agencies carefully select models, images, settings, scenes, and story lines to evoke an image, a feeling, and a fantasy of how one's life would be transformed through owning a product. How many times have you fallen a prey to these advertisements?
Have you caught yourself falling trap to any of these situations?
- Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping
- Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior
- Money And Processions: Breaking Free From The Materialism Trap
- Expectations: Is It A human Weakness?
- 10 Questions that Determine your Financial Fitness
- The Balance Sheet Of Life!
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