Why We Buy

Topics: Credit card, Money, Credit history Pages: 12 (2979 words) Published: November 14, 2011

Why We Buy

Tab le of Contents
America – Spenders, Inc. Resource Management Who’s Pushing Your Buttons? Your Money Personality Spend on Saving Control Spending Know Yourself Appendix A – How Do You Manage Your Money? Appendix B – Instead of Shopping…

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hy we buy is a difficult question to answer. But, we have to start somewhere. Spending behavior is complex and many of us have never considered why we spend money the way we do. Once we have some of the basic tools to evaluate our spending, we can make more informed decisions about whether to spend or whether to save.

Let’s face it. We love to buy things here in America. And, as Americans, if we are going to do something, we go all the way. To our credit, we have the numbers to show that we have done real well in the buying game. Just take a look: ➤ ➤

Kids as young as 18 months recognize product logos Kids watch an average of 40,000 TV commercials a year There are over 15,000,000 shopaholics in the United States According to a 2002 Stanford University study, there are an estimated 60 million Americans addicted to shopping Americans have one of the lowest savings rates among industrialized nations Americans rack up over $2 trillion in credit card debt per year

Americans spend an average of 146 hours a year searching for things to buy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics A survey of 700 Money readers found that more than half had, in the previous six months, made a major purchase they regretted Two-thirds of all buys are unplanned according to marketing expert and author of Call of the Mall, Paco Underhill When we buy gifts for ourselves, we tend to spend more than we would if we were buying for someone else

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A mom tells her son that she doesn’t have money to buy the toy. Her son responds saying, “Just put your card in that machine and it will give you money.”



Have you ever considered how you spend your valuable resources of time and money? The world would be a very different place to live in if we only bought what we needed to survive. Instead, we spend money on goods and services for other reasons that produce conscious or unconscious emotions. We spend in different ways and with different amounts. And, we spend a lot of time doing it. Consider the way you spend time and money by doing the following exercise. You might find that you can make some changes in your life.

What types of products and services do you enjoy spending money on? •

How are you a “good” spender? •

How would you like to change your spending habits? •

“Chaaarge it!!”



When the economy is not doing very well, we, as consumers, are encouraged to go out and spend. But, what influences our spending behavior? What is it that gets us to open our wallets? It must be more than politicians telling us to do our civic duty of spending to help the national economy. Well, in fact, it is. We tend to make purchases on things that fulfill desires and make us feel a certain way. If you want to change a spending behavior, it helps to understand what, and who is pushing your buying buttons. Consider these influences: ➤ ➤

The Media – We all know that the lifestyles presented in television and movies are not a reality for a majority of Americans. And yet, these images influence how we envision our level of success. In other words, we want to be like those we see in the media. If you don’t believe it, think about fashions and how they are introduced and adopted. The Proliferation of Consumer Goods – In America, we have the richest poorest people in the world. Even those of low to modest means have many material things. Stores in America are chock full...
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