The psychology of spending

The psychology of spending

By the non-economist

Let’s talk about how making stupid financial decisions is still a thing. Yes, yes, who really wants to talk about the economy and how money controls us? Well, unfortunately, economy is crucial to our lives so knowing a little something about it isn’t exactly a dumb idea. What I’m trying to say is, let’s not always trap our minds in numbing states of entertainment and actually read something that’s relevant to reality. Yeah, I said it!

Anyways, ranting aside, let’s try to see how we got to where we are today in terms of finances. So how did money become such a powerful thing and why are we falling for it? Well, my friends, turns out, it’s psychological. Everything we do is psychological. We base everything on emotions and our self-prejudice. That’s why we are constantly making stupid decisions.

Now I’m not saying that making decisions based on your emotions is a bad thing, but I believe it puts us in more shitty situations. There needs to be a good balance of both – unfortunately, we suck at that.

So let’s take a look at some of the behavioural conditions we usually fall for in our current climate.

The one cent price difference

You know those type of promos that go “buy shit for only $9.99”? That means $10. You are not saving anything by having the price reduced to 0.01 cent. We only think that we do because we see a number lower than its rounded up counterpart. The psychology of looking at a decimal lower than we expect causes us to want to buy it more because it’s “reduced.” Fuck off.

Buying something just because it belongs to somebody you admire

That’s right, I’m talking about you MTF, that go online looking for a piece of cloth that Katy Perry, or whoever, once used at a concert just because it supposedly had her sweat on it. First of all, gross, why in the world would you want to buy sweat-infested cloth? Whoever it’s from! Or why would I buy $300 sneakers just because Lebron James is the poster boy?

For those prices, I better have Lebron James lift me up every time I do a dunk in those shoes. People, why are we falling for celebrity endorsements? Because it makes us feel cool, we want to feel connected to that person, or we just respect them, perhaps, whatever the reasons though, if you spend $500 on a celebrity-endorsed item, you’re stupid.

You like the packaging

Now don’t lie here, we all have bought something because we thought it was “cute.” Why??

I know I’ve made the mistake of buying some Marvel-shaped headphones that I convinced myself to be convenient and that I really needed it. Well the truth is, I didn’t need it, but I needed to have it. Again, another psychological trick due to our small brain’s desire for something aesthetically pleasing.

We don’t need any of this shit, it just looks nice. Why do you think home décor items are a thing?

Holiday/occasion hypnosis

When that time of the year comes, like Christmas and Valentines, we have a desire to spend spend spend. It’s because our society has created a need for gifts, thus making us feel more festive around this time. That’s why most companies start having promos and discounts.

The truth is, we don’t need gifts or need to spend anything at all during the holiday season. Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, note, he was born in a barn amongst animals, you really think this was a sign that we should spend and waste money?

In fact, most holidays are religious, the last thing, I believe, we should focus on is what gifts to buy. And Valentine’s Day is not even a real thing!

Consumerism is a bitch

Ain’t it though? We are made off of consumerism, it is our life, in our bloods and culturally seeped in us. Psychologically, we were taught to spend and earn money from a young age, so of course the thought of buying more things makes us feel happy.

Items equals to prosperity. That’s why shopping addictions are a thing.

Creating an environment of prosperity

I’m talking about the kind-hearted lady trying to sell you that microwave and the neatly aligned biscuit rack that clearly displays the yummy-ness of those shapely crackers.

As soon as we enter a store, we are usually (or should be) encountered with a sense of peace and calm. Surrounded by an atmosphere that makes you want to hug somebody and wonder why everything smells so good. It does not help that the customer service people are the nicest people you could ever meet.

They trap you with good-smelling perfume and kind attitudes, making it really hard to say no. Hell, I never needed that oven or hiking shoes, but am I going to say no to charming Bob? No. Just shut up and take my money.

Now these are just some of the most common psychological tricks you can find in our everyday life, but there are tons out there and you probably won’t ever realize it! And you know what, we’ll probably never realize it because we’re weak and we love feelings and buying new Jordans makes me feel like I’m the shit!

So watch out for yourselves and the mind-tricks our system is trying to play on us. We are all capitalist zombies and the best we can do to survive is to be aware and kill the MTF when it attacks. I regret buying these Jordans.

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