Whenever we find ourselves in a store and looking at an item there are a few different things that go through our head. I believe once our attention is brought to an item for purchase our mind instantly goes into reasons to justify us buying it.
If you are a trained minimal spender you are able to quickly combat these thoughts and continue walking. However, if you are not trained in this art form it can be hard to keep walking and instead you keep spending.
So, today I thought I would talk about some of those trick we play on ourselves in order to bring your attention to them and help you combat them!
Let’s get started!
3 Shopping Tricks We Play On Ourselves And How To Fight Them
“It only costs $______!”
The word “only” is the real MVP of this trick right here. It is not only X amount, it is X amount. Telling yourself it is a “good deal” or “on sale” is just adding persuasive fluff to the facts. The facts being that it has a price and that price is the amount you’ll pay if you buy it regardless if someone is telling you it is on “clearance”. The price should be dealt with, separate of the word “only”. All decisions of purchase should be based on the price whether the retailer is trying to tell you it is a good deal or a clearance item.
Combat Move #1
“Is this worth the price it is?”
You may think that retailers determine the worth of an item. In reality, we as consumers determine the worth. When we purchase an item we are putting that worth on that item. If you think something is priced to high but you purchase it anyway, with that purchase you are saying it is worth the money you are taking out of your hand and giving to someone else in order to own that item. So instead of being swayed by a sign saying clearance or telling yourself it is “only” a certain amount, ask yourself if the price of the item is worth that much money to you. Then, decide to get it or not.
“I need it.”
Let me just save you a few seconds and cut to the chase, probably 95% of the time you don’t actually need it. How do I know that? Because what we actually need vs what we think we need are dramatically different. What we need to survive is food, water, and shelter. If you want to be a little more realistic then sure, you need a running car, the ability to turn on your heat, and maybe a phone to contact people. (Though not the newest and fanciest phone!) The thing is, we have become obsessed with buying things and consuming things that we’ve forgotten we are more blessed than we realize with everything we have and if you get back to basics you realize all our real needs are already met. So no, you are tricking yourself if you think you need it.
Combat Move #2
“Do I need this?”
Instead of assuming because it is there in front of you, you are drawn to it, and you don’t already have one that means you need the item, start by asking yourself if you do. Question if you actually do need to buy this item and for what reason if you think the answer is yes. If you go into a store already content with what you own and not “needing” anything, then it should take a lot for an item to convince you it’s worth your money. If you are easily swayed, it’s possible you are not finding contentment in the right places, and you might need to work on that first before spending all your money trying to find contentment. The next new thing will never settle this for you.
“If I don’t buy it someone else will!”
This logic does hold up. If you don’t purchase an item, it is likely someone else will come around and buy it after you. But this is never a logical reason to purchase something. The fear of missing out (or FOMO) is a real problem and has been for awhile, we just finally gave a name to it. The idea or thought that we might miss something that someone else will enjoy is staggeringly terrifying to some of us and makes us do stupid things. One of those stupid things is buying something because we want to be the person who got the deal, or who has the rare unique find that someone else does. There is a temptation to buy something simply so you are the one who owns it. You may not even realize it has happened until months later when the item is still sitting where you placed it that day and hasn’t ever been used or appreciated. This trick is one your mind and emotions are playing on you and shouldn’t be given thought to!
Combat Move #3
“I don’t really need this and if I buy it I’ll be taking it away from someone who does.” Or, one I do often, “Someone would love this way more than I do!”
Now, think about a time where you really did need or even want a specific item and you were able to buy the last one or only one at a great price. I bet it felt pretty great didn’t it? Now, imagine if right before you got there you had seen someone grab it and put it in their cart. Then as they were walking away you heard them talking about how they actually don’t need one or really care about it that much but it’s a good deal, so they might as well grab it anyways. Wouldn’t it feel a little unfair? No, I’m not saying to never buy something you don’t need so that someone else can. I’m just trying to give some perspective to all your purchases. It may be a great deal or a one of a kind item, but if you don’t need it, you shouldn’t buy it. It’s as simple as that.
These are just three different thoughts that I find come to people’s heads when shopping but we all know there are tons more! The lengths we go to to try and convince ourselves we need something is astounding!
What kind of things do you say to yourself to convince yourself you need something and what kind of things do you tell yourself to get over that feeling?
I hope this helped bring some outside perspective to your shopping and I hope my combat moves help in your next shopping adventure!